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Give Your Home an Electrical Safety Checkup

  Give Your Home an Electrical Safety Checkup

Just as regular wellness checkups are critical for maintaining your health, routine safety checkups are critical for the safety of your home. Use this checklist to ensure that you can identify and correct potential electrical hazards around your home.

Switches and Outlets

  • Are any switches or outlets warm to the touch or discolored? Unusually warm or discolored switches or outlets may indicate an unsafe wiring condition.
  • Do any switches or outlets make cracking, buzzing or sizzling sounds? Unusual noises from a switch or outlet may indicate an unsafe wiring setup such as a loose electrical connection.
  • Do plugs fit snugly into all outlets? Loosefitting plugs can cause fires.

Cords

  • Is any cord cracked, frayed or otherwise damaged, or attached with staples? Damaged cords may have exposed wires that can be a fire and shock hazard.
  • Do you use extension cords on a permanent basis? Extension cords are designed to be used only temporarily. Extended use may damage the cord, creating a fire and shock hazard.
  • Are cords kept wrapped up while being used? Wrapped cords trap heat, which can lead to melting or weakening of the insulation.
  • Are all appliance cords placed so they will not come in contact with hot surfaces? Cords can melt or burn from excessive heat. This can expose wires and lead to a fire or electric shock.

Electric Panel

  • Do you have recurring tripped breakers or blown fuses? Fuses and circuit breakers are safety devices that help prevent fires caused by overloading of your home’s electrical system. They stop the electrical current if it exceeds the safe level for some portion of your home’s system.
  • Do you have arc-fault circuit interrupters, and do you test them?
  • AFCIs are advanced circuit breakers that provide greater protection from electrical fires. You should have them and test them monthly as they can stop working without showing signs of failure.