Home Electrical Safety Checklist | DIY Electrical Inspection

The electrical system in your home has many parts and components to be aware of to ensure a safe home all year long. Do you know what GFCI and AFCI outlets are? What is whole-house surge protection? As part of your spring cleaning, take some time to inspect your electrical system. 

If you are like most people, you are probably aware of some basic electrical knowledge, such as knowing how to flip a breaker and that water and electricity don't mix, but there's also a lot you might not know. Every year, there are hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries, and billions of dollars worth of damage caused by a lack of electrical safety knowledge. Electrical outlets/receptacles alone account for 5,300 home fires and over 40 deaths and 100 injuries every single year (esfi.org). 

Our home electrical safety checklist is meant to reduce these numbers and protect homeowners everywhere. In addition to doing your own DIY electrical safety check, make sure to schedule an electrical safety inspection with a professional. A licensed electrician should inspect your home every year to make sure the electrical system meets the safety provisions provided in the National Electrical Code (NEC). Your inspection will include checking your electrical panel, outlets and switches, wiring and circuits, GFCIs and AFCIs, outdoor circuits and HVAC wiring, and your smoke and CO detectors. It is recommended that you inspect your home's electrical system every 6 months, especially if your home is over 40 years old, you recently moved into a new home, or your home has undergone major renovations. Read on to know exactly what to inspect and where.

DIY Electrical Safety Checklist

Outlets and Light Switches:

Extension Cords:

GFCIs and AFCIs:

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors:

Electrical Appliances:

Electrical Panel

General Electrical and Fire Safety:

Strange Smells

If you smell something fishy (literally), it could be a burning electrical outlet, switch, or other device. When the plastic components in your electrical device burn, they emit a rotten egg, dead animal, fish or urine smell. Do not ignore this! If you smell something funky, take a look at your nearby outlets and electrical components. If anything looks discolored, burned, or melted, turn off the power at your breaker box and call a qualified electrician immediately. And call yourself lucky for avoiding an electrical fire. Additionally, make sure that all combustibles are far away from all of your heat sources.

Monthly Electrical Maintenance:

Make sure you are doing these monthly electrical safety tasks to ensure a safe home for you and your family: Push the TEST button. If the alarm chirps or beeps, you should replace the batteries. Typically, smoke and CO alarm batteries should be replaced once a year. Make sure to replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years. Use this Home Safety Calendar from Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI)

Our electrical safety maintenance checklist is meant to provide awareness of the many electrical hazards that could be present in your home. This is NOT a substitute for professional home electrical inspections.

Make sure you schedule a professional electrical inspection from a qualified electrician every year to ensure electrical safety for your home and family.

For more electrical safety information, including information on surge protectors, tamper resistant receptacles, and smoke/CO detectors, read the safety guides on esfi.org.
Hiller Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, & Electrical provides residential and commercial service and repair throughout Tennessee, Southern Kentucky, and Northern Alabama. With our mantra, “Happy You’ll Be or the Service is Free!” we are dedicated to resolving any issue with our services within 48 hours, or your money back! You can also keep up with all of our news and updates by following us on FacebookTwitter, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. We are available 24/7 to help with any plumbing, heating, or electrical problems you may have (holidays included).