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Electrical Home Inspection for Fire Prevention

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A possible fire hazard in your home could very well include your electrical connections. Many people overlook this prevalent source of potential danger and often don’t consider it until it’s too late. A thorough electrical home inspection conducted by a homeowner and a professional electrician can help to prevent fire as well as electrical damage.

Outlets, Switches, and Wall Plates

Outlets that have exposed wiring or connection points may indicate a possible source of electrical fire. Old outlets can be replaced and updated, as well as their related wall plates. Wall plates that are cracked or broken can expose wiring, which should always be covered and properly secured. Light switches that are hot to touch or make noise can also be a cause for concern. Faulty light switches may indicate an internal problem with loose connections or bad contacts, which can lead to an electrical fire.

Electrical Cords

While it may seem like common sense, electrical cords should be in good condition when in use. Frays and other noticeable damages are a possible hazard. Cords should not be placed over furniture, under rugs or carpeting, or attached in some way to the wall or floor. Extension cords, as well, have the same associated potential dangers, and they are not meant to be used permanently. If more outlets and likewise more electrical capacity are needed, it is vitally important to meet those needs that your home’s electrical usage requires. Inadequate electrical capacity can lead to a power surge that can cause a fire or at least serious damage to large appliances and other devices.

Circuit Breaker Panel

Think of the circuit breaker panel as the heart of your home’s electricity. It needs to be in good physical condition and able to handle the level of electricity that is constantly flowing to and from. If it is not able to keep up, it can become overloaded and cause an electrical shortage and subsequent potential fire. You should check your panel for signs of rust or corrosion and have a professional electrician determine if its capacity is enough for your home’s electrical usage. If not, it can be upgraded to a greater amp level.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter

A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) is a device for additional electrical protection. A GFCI automatically turns off the power in your home should an electrical problem occur. GFCI’s are typically installed in the bathroom or kitchen, where water use is high. If your home has a GFCI already installed, make sure to test it monthly to ensure it is working properly.

Power Surge

A power surge can be the single most dangerous electrical consequence in your home. Normally caused by insufficient electrical capacity, a power surge occurs when a peak of electrical current causes a spike in voltage and generates heat. Circuit boards and connected appliances may become irreversibly damaged, including the possibility for an electrical fire. The right amount of electrical capacity can help to protect your home in addition to an inspection for other damages and possible hazardous sources.

This article was provided by Gillece Plumbing. Gillece Services has been the Pittsburgh area’s for over 30 years.

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