If your home is 40 years or older, has undergone renovation, or you are getting a major appliance installed, the Electrical Safety Foundation recommends an electrical home inspection performed by a licensed electrician. An owner or renter can perform simple inspections of a house’s electrical system. However, it is advisable to also consult with a professional to ensure the protection of your family and home.
Inspect for Safety
Greater than 144,000 house fires between 2007 and 2011 were caused by an electrical malfunction or failure according to the National Fire Protection Agency. Although an electrical inspection may not be mandatory when purchasing or renovating a residence, it will uncover electrical deficiencies and fire hazards that otherwise may not have been discovered.
Check Outlets and Lighting
For safety, a homeowner must regularly inspect and test light switches, outlets, appliance electrical cords, and ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). Loose outlets will require tightening or replacement. Black residue or heat around an outlet indicates a fire hazard that must be addressed immediately by a professional. Be alert to humming or arcing sounds made by lighting fixtures or outlets.
Replace Aging Wiring
Homes built before 1950 may have knob-and-tube wiring. Houses constructed from 1965 to 1973 may have aluminum wiring. Both types have performance and safety qualities that are deficient, making it more difficult to insure a home. The investment to replace aged wiring will improve safety and increase your home’s resale value.
Wet Area Outlet Inspection
GFCIs must be installed in all wet areas, such as kitchens and bathrooms. Light switches must also be located a safe distance away from sources of water. Exterior outlets also require GFCIs. Regular testing of GFCIs in wet areas is recommended for safety.
Examine Electrical Service Panel
Found in the exterior, basement, or garage, an electrical service panel contains either circuit breakers or fuses. A thorough inspection will search for wear and tear, corrosion, and smoky or black residues. Should a panel be equipped with obsolete round fuses, hire a licensed electrician to replace them with circuit breakers. Rusty or damaged service panels should be completely replaced.
Electrical Peace of Mind
Providing professional electricians since 1988 in Maryland, Cook Electric is the company you can rely on for all your electrical service needs, including:
- Commercial & Residential Electrical Installations
- Marina & Residential Pier Wiring
- Electrical Service & Repair
- Specialty Electrical Services
For knowledgeable, fair, honest, reliable, and conscientious service, call Cook Electric today at 410-266-9040. They will be very glad to help you.