It is hard to imagine the houses that we live in these days without electricity, but in actuality, not that long ago some of the older houses did not have electricity because it was not available. When electricity became available, it slowly evolved and made life a lot easier within homes. However, with electricity’s convenience, brought some additional responsibility.
Now that houses have electricity, it is important to make sure that the electricity is maintained and inspected correctly. Therefore, a house maintenance checklist for electrical safety is necessary. This checklist can be for safety precautions, standard maintenance, or updates that may become required because of laws, changes in the houses, or safety measures.
Here are some tips for a healthy, safe home for you and for your family:
The longer that you own a house, the more you want to beautify it. When you originally moved into your house, you may have planted some bushes or trees that have grown over the years. Keep your electrical services to your house clear of these trees and bushes. Check the electrical wires overhead and keep the bushes clear of the wires on the outside surface of the house. If these bushes or trees need to be trimmed, and if they have overgrown, hire a professional to trim the weeds around electrical lines.
Take a moment and open the inside of a breaker panel inside your house. Make sure the circuit breakers and fuses are labeled for each of the rooms and the location it operates. If anything looks unsafe contact a professional electrical service provider, so they can consider the installation of an ARC fault circuit interrupter (AFCI). These protect against fires by monitoring circuit currents and if an unintended arcing occurs the AFCI will start a shutdown for safety.
Inspect Switches and Outlets
There are electrical switches and outlets inside and outside of your house. You can also test outlets that are not working by using a receptacle tester that can be purchased at a local hardware store. However, if switches or outlets become warm to touch, discolored, or make some kind of unusual sounds they need to be inspected by a certified electrician.
Periodically inspect all the electrical appliances within the house for damage, cracks, or anything loose on the cords and wires on any electrical appliances. If you see any of these signs of damage unplug and replace them immediately. Also, do not run cords across doorways or under carpets if additional plugs are needed in areas that cannot reach an outlet call an electrician and just have additional electrical outlets installed.
Make sure that any lightbulbs that are placed within electrical appliances do not exceed the maximum wattage recommended by the manufacturer. If a lamp comes with a shade or globe for the lightbulb, make sure to use them with the bulb, especially in enclosed locations like closet areas. If a lightbulb is left exposed to materials for too long, it can cause a fire.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors need to be installed on every floor within a house. Smoke detectors need to be installed within each of the bedrooms and CO detectors need to be installed on every floor of the house just outside of the sleeping areas. Both smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors need to be tested every 30 days and if battery operated, they need to have batteries changed every 6 months.
There are electrical appliances within your house that need to be inspected often. Some of these can be your oven or range exhaust hoods that need to be at least inspected and need to be cleaned every six months and items that can be combustible like plastics, papers, and towels that need to stay clear of an oven. The circulation around a dryer, refrigerator, and other
appliances can be a safety hazard and cause fires if they’re not ventilated correctly and should be inspected frequently.
There can be the notice of some unusual smells within the house; do not ignore it. The smell can be like a fishy smell and that a burning electrical outlet switch or other devices can cause. If that smell is noticed or if anything looks like it’s burned, melted, or discolored, call a professional electrician.
If you need to have more than one outlet in an area, but do not have the finances to contact an electrician right off for new ones to be installed try using a surge protector. They can add additional outlets in areas, they can connect various appliances to the power outlet, and they protect the appliances by diverting any voltage that may be excessive to the outlet ground out wire in the event of a power surge. They are also protected from lightning striking a power line.
Dirty air filters indirectly affect the electric flow within a house. It can cause your electric bill to increase because it will cause the appliances to run harder and more often. A furnace will have to blow harder and longer for heat to go through a dirty filter to heat a home. If your refrigerator exhaust hood is dirty, it can be crucial to clean it regularly or it could start a fire.
Owning a house for some people is the long-term goal that has been achieved and is a privilege to boast about. Keep this investment of hard work safe and in good condition by checking it yourself for electrical issues before they become dangerous or hazardous. If issues arise that need to be resolved or that are unknown, take the time to find a certified electrician in your area and have them check all the electrical fuses, breakers, and electrical switches in your house. You’ll be glad you did and get to enjoy the house for what you purchased it for, a home.