Ensuring Your Electrical System Is Safe: A Home Checklist

When it comes to your home's electrical system, you want to make sure that everything is working properly. This can help ensure your family's safety and access to electricity in every room of the home. Here are a few things to add to your electrical maintenance checklist so you can stay on top of potential problems and repair them as it becomes necessary.

Inspect Your Breakers

From time to time, it's a good idea to inspect your home's breaker box. Look for signs of moisture or corrosion, as these can be signs of a more serious problem. If you find that you have to flip breakers often due to an overload, make a note of which breakers are having the issue and contact your electrician. He or she can add a dedicated breaker to accommodate energy-hungry appliances to prevent future overloads.

Check Cord Placement

Properly placed electrical cords for appliances and other items is essential for home safety. Cords should not be placed where they can become a tripping hazard, so look for ways to rearrange power cords. You can use wire clips to run power cords along walls to prevent tripping hazards. If you have baseboard heaters, ensure the cords aren't too close to the heat sources, as this can pose a risk of fire. You can install wire clips in the wall above the baseboard heaters to keep the cords safely positioned.

Eliminate Extension Cords

Extension cords should be used for temporary access to electricity, such as vacuuming hard-to-reach areas where the original cord can't reach. If you have permanently placed extension cords, consider the reason they are being used. You may find that you need extra outlets in some rooms of your home. Your electrician can run wire and install extra wall receptacles to overcome this problem. When having new outlets installed, ask about adding USB receptacles, which let you plug phone chargers directly into the outlet plate without the need for an AC adapter. This can maximize your usage of outlets by keeping receptacles free for lights and other electrical components.

Install Child-Safe Outlets

Instead of adding plastic plug covers to keep little fingers out of outlets, consider replacing your outlet covers with tamper-resistant designs. These outlet covers feature safety-minded designs that prevent children from placing items into the receptacles. Some have twist-to-plug designs, which require you to turn the outlet cover to accommodate a plug. Others simply have built-in covers that prevent access to the receptacles that are not being used.

Even with this maintenance checklist, there are some concerns that you might not be able to address on your own. Consider having an electrician perform an annual inspection to ensure there are no potential problems with your wiring. He or she can inspect outlets in wet locations to prevent the risk of shock, and your electrician can also identify other wiring issues that you might need to have addressed.

For more information, contact a company like Kunselman Electric, Inc.