It is important to know what to look for when it comes to electrical safety in your home. Electricians know your home’s electrical system is under constant strain. It rarely gets a break. This means the safety of your home’s electricity requires annual consideration.
As a homeowner it is easy to overlook certain electrical devices. A few examples are GFCI outlets, arc fault breakers and whole home surge protection. It is why we recommend hiring annual electrical maintenance by a licensed professional. It is inexpensive and keeps your home safe and in good working order.
Homeowners may know basic aspects of safe electrical home-use. A prime example is resetting a tripped breaker. However, understanding the basic dangers is important as well. Using extension cords as a permanent outlet solution or knowing the most common fire hazards and risks of electrical safety can perhaps seem obvious, but there can be many other aspects of proper electrical system usage and upkeep that homeowners may not be aware of or may forget.
Arc faults are reportedly responsible for more than 28,000 home fires, and ESFI.org reports that an estimated 51,000 home electrical fires occur annually, resulting in more than 1,400 injures and nearly 500 deaths. It is reported that over $700 million in property damage occurs as a result of arcing faults, with a total of $1.3 billion of dollars in property damage occurring as a result of home electrical fires.
Having a licensed electrician perform annual electrical maintenance dramatically decrease the chances of these disasters and protect your home. Electrical maintenance visits consist of a licensed electrician visiting the home to inspect smoke detectors, GFCIs, AFCIs, electrical grounding, wiring, plugs and switches, and inspection of the electrical panel.
It is of even greater importance to invest in annual electrical maintenance if you live in an older home, as often times older homes have outdated electrical implements and are lacking the electrical safety devices that newer homes are routinely equipped with. Electrical systems in newer homes are designed to meet the National Electrical Code, which is updated every three years, meaning that homes built in past decades and the prior century can be missing devices and implementations that are now included in updated code.
Home Safety Questionnaire
Below are a few tips and questions to ask when you are evaluating the electrical safety of your home:
- Are smoke detectors present in the hallways and bedrooms?
- Are switches warm or hot to the touch?
- Are outlets 3 prong or 2 prong?
- Are outlets broken or not working?
- Are switches loose or not working?
- Do you test GFCI plugs on a regular basis?
- Are there Arc fault breakers present in your electrical panel?
- Do you have a main breaker on your electrical panel?
If you experience any electrical issues or worry your home may be missing electrical safety devices, call a local licensed electrician to perform an in-home evaluation to protect your home and help ensure the safety of your family.