Checklist for a Safer Home Electrical System
[ ] Older wiring could cause a problem if it is covered with insulation where it can overheat and create a real fire hazard. If you add insulation to your house, be sure not to cover wiring and fixtures unless an electrician has certified that they are rated for such conditions.
[ ] Smoke Detectors. Every home should have functioning smoke detectors in stairways, hallways and bedrooms. Each smoke detector should be tested monthly.
Outlets – Inspect these areas:
Living Rooms, Family Rooms, Bedrooms and other rooms as well.
What to look for:
[ ] Typical occupied rooms should have at least one outlet per wall spaced twelve feet apart or less. When outlets are not properly placed then extension cords will be used for items such as an entertainment system or a T.V. set.
[ ] Remove extension cords from dangerous locations.
The Problem with Extension Cords
Extension cords should never be used in place of fixed wiring. Damaged plugs or insulation can result in sparking. If extension cords are placed under rugs or through doors or windows they can be damaged or cut. This applies to all rooms in the home where most electrical devices are used.
Lighting – inspect these areas:
What to look for:
[ ] Each lighting fixture should have a sturdy protective electrical box. The wire and the insulation should not be damaged or starting to crumble.
[ ] Light bulbs should be sized correctly to the maximum watts as stated on the light fixture or the bulb socket. Using a larger bulb is not safe and could lead to over heating. If more lighting is needed then have look into replacing older fixtures with a new energy efficient fixture.
[ ] Closet lighting fixtures that use incandescent light bulbs too close to the shelf where sheets, blankets and towels, and other flammable materials which may come in contact with a hot bulb is an invitation for disaster. The solution: install a slim designed fluorescent fixture or move the fixture further away from the shelf.
[ ] Switches – inspect all areas, what to look for:
Sometimes switches can come loose from the wall, and the movement of the wiring back and forth can break connections that can damage the wire insulation, or make bare wires touch metal. These conditions can cause a fire. In a safely wired home, all the fixtures: lighting fixtures, switches, wall sockets, junction boxes, are insulated and firmly secured.
All Electrical Devices
[ ] Current wiring standards require a sturdy box at all junctions to contain any sparking.
Old wiring could have connections that are corroded, the insulation has cracked, and separated from the wires. Scorch marks are an indication of a dangerous overheating condition.
Home Electrical Professional Inspections