Electrical Safety Month: Small Things To Check For Around The Home
May is National Electrical Safety Month, and what better way to “celebrate” than to ensure your home is electrically “sound” by performing a routine DIY electrical safety checklist! Don’t worry, we don’t need you to thoroughly inspect your main electrical panel yourself. That’s a job for a professional, AKA, a licensed master electrician. But there is a smaller list that a homeowner can perform on their own for the prevention of electrical hazards. Let’s take a quick peak.
DIY Electrical Home Safety Checklist
For Electrical Safety Month, you can visually inspect the following things by yourself, even if you aren’t an electrician. These things will give you a good indicator if something electrical needs to be fixed or replaced. Here is an easy to print-out checklist for you to work with:
Switches & Outlets
- Are Any Switches and Outlets Not Working Correctly? YES NO
- Are Any Switches and/or Outlets Warm To The Touch? YES NO
- Any Discoloration On Any Switches or Outlets? YES NO
- Do Any Switches or Outlets Make Noises? (crackling, buzzing, etc) YES NO
- Are Any Plugs Loose When Plugged Into An Outlet? YES NO
Note: If you answered YES to any of the above, it’s time to call a licensed electrician for the prevention of electrical hazards. Improper wiring of the switches and outlets could be the cause for some of these, which needs to be addressed to an electrician for a more thorough electrical safety inspection. Loose plugs in outlets may also cause overheating, which could lead to an electrical fire. These outlets should be replaced by a licensed electrician.
Main Electrical Panel
- Do Your Circuits/Fuses Constantly Trip/Blow? YES NO
- Are You WITHOUT AFCIs (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters)? YES NO NOT SURE
- Are Your Breakers Incorrectly Sized? YES NO NOT SURE
Note: If you answered YES to number 1, and/or answered YES or NOT SURE to numbers 2 and 3, it’s time to call a licensed electrician for a more thorough electrical safety inspection.
Call A Licensed Electrician For An In-Depth Electrical Safety Inspection
While it’s Electrical Safety Month, how about getting your entire household checked from top to bottom by a professional? Wouldn’t you want to make sure your home’s electrical system is up-to-code and working properly?
Don’t just rely on your DIY visual electrical inspection. To really ensure the highest standard of safety, a licensed electrician inspects everything from the inners of your main electrical panel and your outside service, to ensuring everything in your home is compliant with the latest NEC (National Electrical Code).
Other Household Items to Check For National Electrical Safety Month
- Always make sure that the correct light bulb wattage is being used in your lamps and light fixtures.
- Keep all appliance cords away from hot surfaces and hot items.
- If you have small children in your home, it might be a good idea to replace your outlets with the Tamper-Resistant kind (if your home is older and not up to the 2008 NEC standards for new and renovated homes, which require these to already be installed). Call a licensed electrician for installation/more information.
- Replace any electrical cords that are frayed, cracked, or broken.
- NEVER run cords/extension cords underneath carpet. They can overheat!
- NEVER use an extension cord as a permanent means for a permanent appliance/device. Call a licensed electrician for the installation of a dedicated outlet. (Appliances that use a lot of energy like your refrigerator or electric stove should be plugged into a wall outlet)
- Test your GFCI outlets at least once a month to ensure they are working properly.