October is a good time of year to take a few minutes to survey the safety of the electricity in your home. The weather is changing and the demands on your home's electricity are already shifting with it. A licensened electrician should periodically do a full evaluation of your entire home's electrical system, but every homeowner should also regularly take a moment to check everything on the list below.
- Do all outlets and switches work properly, with no sign of physical damage?
- Are all outlets and switches cool to the touch?
- If you have children in your home, are all outlets child-proof?
- Do your outlets all hold electrical plugs firmly? Plugs should not seat loosely in any outlet.
- Are any extension cords in use solely for short-term temporary use? Extension cords should never be used as long-term or permanent solutions.
- Are all outlets in rooms exposed to water and outdoors GFCI protected?
- Have you tested your GFCI outlets? This should be done monthly.
- Do all outdoor fixtures have covers?
- Do all of your light fixtures have bulbs rated at or below the maximum rating for that fixture?
- Have you tested all of your smoke and CO detectors?
- Does your home have the appropriate number of smoke and CO detectors installed?
- Does your electrical service function normally with interruption? (No regularly tripping circuit breakers)
- Are you able to smoothly switch each circuit breaker off and on with no resistance?
If you answered No to any of these questions, it's time for an electrician. Congratulations if your answered yes to them all, however it's still a good idea to have a profession thoroughly inspect everything. GEN3 is happy send one of our friendly neighborhood home experts to your home to grade your home's electrical system. You can view an example of just how throrough GEN3's report card is here.