Is It Time for a Home Electrical Safety Inspection?
Updated: Nov 8
As a Bay Area homeowner, you may have found yourself hunkering down at home more often over the past few weeks as the days have grown shorter and mother nature has walloped us with her first seasonal storm. Thank goodness for central heating, you might be thinking. But even though Bay Area winters are moderate compared to most of the country, homeowners often crank up the thermostat without much of a second thought.
Electrical consumption tends to go up 30% - 40% during the winter months. And perhaps more importantly, increased loads can put high levels of stress on your home electrical system that can lead to problems. By all means stay toasty and dry, but remember that increased stress on your home's electrical system can overload its circuits. If a circuit stops tripping, an excessive load can melt the wiring insulation and start a fire.
Therefore, having a professional inspect your home’s electrical components yearly can promote home safety and well-being for everyone snuggled up inside.
Electrical Safety Checklist
Electrical problems are the leading cause of house fires, which makes inspecting your home electrical system one of the best ways to protect your property. If your home is more than 10 years old, its electrical components have begun to degrade. For older homes, those built up to around 1950, knob-and-tube wiring was the technique used, so having a professional inspect it for any signs of wear or damage is a good idea.
You can do the simple things yourself. Inspect your electrical outlets for damage or a smoky dark residue. If an outlet in your home doesn't work, you should probably replace it. And take note of any other lighting irregularities: a burning smell; a flickering light; a switch not working. If you encounter these or other lighting issues, turn off or unplug at the source of the problem, and get your home inspected today.
The bottom line is this: homes age, and some parts of homes age faster than others. But if you pay attention to your home's signals, you'll often catch things early. In the electrical realm, for instance, note when there is a power surge, electrical short, or when a light is not working, and take action immediately. It will help reduce safety risks and decrease the potential damage to your home.