You may love surprises, but not when they come from your home’s electrical system! Check out our electrical safety tips, which will help you be aware of potentially dangerous situations or the need to contact a professional electrician.

1. Have Your Electrical System Inspected Annually

As a homeowner, you should know the age of your home and have an inspection performed for electrical safety once a year. This is especially true if you live in an older home that wasn’t built to carry the electrical load common today. It’s important to know whether or not your home’s electrical system has been updated in order to handle energy demands safely. While you’re at it, you might as well have a home inspector conduct a full General Maintenance Inspection once a year to stay on top of all the major components of your home.

2. Become Familiar with Your Electrical Panel

Electrical panels that didn’t function correctly were still being installed in homes as late as the 1990s. Be aware that some brands are not manufactured anymore because they compromise the electrical safety of your home. Beware of an electric panel that feels warm or hot when you touch it! That’s a sign that you should call an electrician.

3. Get to Know the Breakers

It’s frustrating when a breaker trips, but they’re doing important work, like trying to alert you to the fact that you have too many appliances running on the same circuit. If the breaker continues to trip even after you’ve reconfigured your appliances, contact an electrician.

4. Understand Your Fire Extinguisher

Since water conducts electricity, you cannot use water to put out an electrical fire. Instead, you’ll need to keep a fire-retardant chemical fire extinguisher on each floor of your house. Become familiar with how to use them just in case you ever need to.

5. How Do Your Outlets Feel?

If they’re warm or hot, that’s a warning sign. It could be that the circuit is being overloaded or a wiring problem. Also be aware if plugs won’t stay in the outlet or if they fit too loosely. Have an electrician switch out 2-pronged outlets with grounded 3-pronged outlets and make sure that outlets that are close to water are GFCI outlets that are up to code.

6. Keep an Eye Out for Flickering Lights

These are also the sign of potential electrical panel problems that shouldn’t be ignored. If flickering lights are occurring frequently, an electrician should come evaluate the electrical safety of your home.

7. Make Sure Older Appliances are Grounded

Your appliances should all have 3-pronged plugs that you can plug into a grounded outlet. If you own a kitchen appliance with a 2-pronged plug, it’s time to replace it.

Electrical Safety is Best Handled by Professionals

Be sure you understand the dangers of working with electricity—while you can check for certain signs that something is wrong with your electrical system yourself, you should hire a professional electrician to inspect your entire system and make sure your home is safe.

Inspect One performs General Maintenance Inspections and other inspection services for the residents of Eastern North Carolina. We inspect for electrical safety as well as a variety of other components and systems in your house so that you can be sure that your home is safe and well maintained. Contact us to schedule your appointment!