Electrical Inspections: Why They Are Important And What Is Included

If you are in the process of buying an older home, or if you recently moved into one, you may want to hire an electrical contractor to perform an electrical inspection in your home. Electrical inspections are designed to determine if the electric in a home is safe, and it will help you understand what modifications need to be made to make your home a safe place to live.

Why Is This Important?

According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), around 47,700 home fires occurred in the U.S. in 2011 due to electrical problems, failures, or malfunctions. Electrical problems are one of the leading causes of home fires in the U.S., and most of these fires could have been prevented if electrical problems had not been ignored.

While a fire can start from other causes, you may be able to prevent a fire in your home by getting an electrical inspection completed. This inspection will reveal any potential problems, and you will have the option to fix them or leave them. Without getting your home's electrical system inspected, you will have no idea whether it is safe or not.

What Is an Electrical Inspection?

During an electrical inspection, an electrical contractor will inspect and evaluate numerous different things in your home. Most contractors work off a checklist as they complete these inspections, and here are some of the things they will inspect and repair if necessary:

  • Electrical panel – An inspection of the electrical panel will reveal the condition of the breakers or fuses. If they discover any that are worn-out, oversized, or undersized, they will suggest replacing them. Fuses and breakers that are not properly sized can create problems. They can trip frequently, or they may start on fire if they cannot handle the load of electricity placed on them.
  • Outlets – The inspection may also include a look at every outlet in your home, with a focus primarily on outlets near water sources. The inspection may reveal that your home doesn't have GFCI outlets near water sources, or if the current GFCIs are not working, they will suggest replacing them.
  • Detectors – An electrical contractor will also check every smoke detector in the house, as well as every other type of detector your home has. This includes carbon monoxide detectors. If your home does not have the right types of detectors, or the correct amount, the electrical contractor will explain why you need more and where they should be placed.
  • Light bulbs – They may also inspect your light fixtures to determine if you are using the correct types and sizes of light bulbs. Using bulbs with wattages that are too high could also pose risks in your home.
  • Wiring – An inspection of the wiring in a home is also included in this. According to House Logic, houses built during the 1960s and 1970s often contain aluminum wire, which is not as safe as copper wiring. If this is discovered during the electrical inspection, you may want to consider having the house wiring replaced.
  • Electric risks – Finally, the inspection will reveal if there are any other types of risks with your electric system. An example of this is if you have extension cords plugged in because of a lack of outlets. This would be something that could be fixed by adding more outlets in the house.

Electrical inspections are very thorough and can reveal a lot of information about the electric in a home. If you would like to find out if your home is safe, contact an electrical contractor and set up an appointment to have an electrical inspection completed.

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