Home, Residential Electrical services, Annapolis MD
Written by Larry Cook

Typical Home Electrical Codes for Safety

Standardized electrical codes from the NEC (National Electrical Code) are for the safety of homeowners and their families. We’ll discuss the typical codes applicable for new homes and remodels and those that would increase safety in older homes. Discuss how to comply with local codes as well with an experienced and licensed electrician.


More than one circuit is required because people will often have several items running simultaneously. A combination heater, light, and fan should be equipped with an individual 20-amp circuit. An appliance like a hair dryer will also require its own 20-amp circuit. A GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) for each circuit will be necessary for safety because of the presence of water.


Every closet will require a covered light fixture controlled by a wall switch. Dated fixtures with exposed bulbs are hazardous.

Garage (Attached)

At least one wall switch should operate a ceiling light, independent from the garage door opener light. A separate circuit should be installed, along with a minimum of one GFCI wall outlet. Exterior outlets require GFCI protection.

Hallway and Stairway

At each end of a hallway or stairway, a 3-way switch is required. Hallways longer than 10 feet should have a general purpose wall outlet. Full lighting is required for stairways for safety. Landings and turns may require additional lighting.


Every major appliance, including the dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave, and garbage disposal will require a dedicated 240-volt circuit. Above the countertop, there should be a minimum of two circuits with outlets.

Laundry Room

The washer and dryer will require their own 20-amp circuit. A separate 240-volt circuit will be needed for an electric dryer.

Living, Dining, and Bed Room

Every room should have a wall switch next to its door to let people turn on the light when entering. Ceiling fixtures should be operated by a wall switch, rather than a pull chain that may detach or break. Wall receptacles will require installation within 12 feet of each other. A dedicated 20-amp circuit may be required to provide power to a window air conditioner, microwave, or entertainment center.

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. For knowledgeable, fair, honest, reliable, and conscientious service, call Cook Electric today at (410) 266-9040. We will be very glad to help you.

Written by Stu Kushner

Keep Your Home Electrically Safe During Winter – Part 1

Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) studies have found that the sales of electrical devices jump markedly during December. This significant growth in the number of electrical products, along with the cooler temperatures in much of the nation, increases the probability of electrical fires, injuries, and deaths. According to other studies, more than 40% of fire deaths happen during the winter season, and the kitchen is where more than half of home fires start.

It is important to perform several easy electrical appliance and device checkups to ensure that they are functioning normally and your home and family are safe from electrical danger. We also recommend that you call an experienced licensed electrician and request a thorough electrical inspection of your home so that you and your family will have peace of mind during winter. 

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electrical services, repair, help
Written by Larry Cook

Ready Your Home Electrically for Winter

It may just be past Labor Day and you are looking forward to a few days of Indian Summer, but Old Man Winter will eventually be knocking on the doors and windows of your home. Don’t wait until there is a blizzard blanketing your yard to cope with the conditions of the toughest season. The following are three simple things you can do to ready your home electrically for winter.

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home electrical grounding, safety
Written by Larry Cook

Why Grounding Your Home is Important – Part 2

Providing numerous benefits for our everyday lives, electricity is one of life’s most dangerous aspects. One way to mitigate the risks is making sure that your home’s electrical systems are grounded. Part 1 covered the five most important reasons for grounding. Part 2 will cover the workings of home electrical grounding and safety tips.

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electrical safety, electrician
Written by Larry Cook

Electrical Fire Prevention for Your Home

As noted by the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), more than 25,000 electrical fires in the U.S. are reported every year, and they cause injury or death to at least 1,300 people. What may not be commonly known is that home electrical fires cause more monetary losses than non-electrical fires. Fortunately, electrical fires can be prevented by common sense methods as discussed below.

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electrical safety, home and office
Written by Larry Cook

May Is National Electrical Safety Month

Although it plays a large role in our modern existence, we take for granted how much convenience electricity brings to our everyday lives. People also forget how the use of electrical devices can lead to fire-related hazards. This is the reason why the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) supports National Electrical Safety Month every May. Sponsored by Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), this annual campaign works nationwide to raise awareness regarding home electrical hazards and electrical fire safety.

NFPA statistics note that American fire departments reported more than 48,000 home structure fires that were started by electrical problems in 2015. These fires caused 455 deaths, injuries to about 1,500 people, and estimated property damages of $1.5 billion. About 50% of these fires were attributed to electrical distribution or lighting equipment.

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safety wirings,electrical services
Written by Larry Cook

Five Most Common Electrical Dangers at Home

Every holiday season typically brings more devices and appliances into your home. Nowadays, people are much more dependent on electricity to power both traditional and modern devices. Unfortunately, this generally increases electrical hazards. If you have an older home, your electrical needs in terms of the existing wiring may be over capacity and unsafe. An electrical safety inspection by a licensed electrical services company is a good idea to ensure the well-being of your family. The following are five common electrical dangers at home that you should keep in mind.

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electrical systems, electricians,
Written by Larry Cook

Dangers of Overloaded Electrical Circuits

We derive many benefits from the use of electricity. Unfortunately, electricity can also endanger our lives. Annually, the U.S. averages 500 deaths, 1,400 injuries, and property damage amounting to $1.3 billion attributed to 51,000 home electrical fires. An overloaded electrical circuit is the most common occurrence, so we’ll focus on its prevention here.

Electrical Basics

A wire heats up when electricity flows through because of its resistance to the electrical current. Two factors determine the amount of heat a wire generates:

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