It’s crucial to keep your home’s electrical system in good working order. The following checklist can provide homeowners with some basic knowledge of what to look for when assessing the electrical safety of their homes:
Inspect your main electrical service panel. Check for rust, loose connections, poor installation, arcing, a burning smell, or water damage.
Walk the perimeter of your house. Check for exposed wires and make sure all outlets are GFI-protected and have a waterproof cover. Make sure there’s adequate lighting near entries and exits.
Inspect your interior outlets. Check for GFI-protected outlets in your kitchen, bathrooms and garage. Make sure all outlets are three-pronged and grounded, especially if you have electronic components plugged into them. Watch for any loose connections when you plug in a cord—if it’s overheating, it’ll smell or look burnt.
Inspect your interior smoke detectors. Make sure you can locate them in your bedrooms and hallways and confirm they’re working properly. Change the batteries if necessary.
Also, check your garage, attic and crawl spaces for exposed wiring, and make sure circuits aren’t overloaded.
While the above list isn’t intended to be a substitute for a professional inspection, it can at least give you an idea about the condition of your home’s electrical system. If something concerns you, it’s in your best interest to contact a qualified electrician to do a professional inspection and make repairs where needed.
When looking for an electrician, it’s important to choose one with an established reputation backed by a track record of excellent service, trustworthiness and honesty. “Make sure they’re Diamond Certified, for one,” says Jeff Balich, owner of MJB Electrical Contractors in Burlingame. “Choose a quality contractor who you don’t have to worry about—one who will give you and your family the peace of mind you deserve.”
Ask about the experience of the company’s employees. Are they certified electricians who are skilled and highly-trained? Always do your homework to make sure the professionals to whom you entrust your family’s safety and well-being are properly certified and insured.
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