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When Last Did You Check the Safety of Your Electrical Work?

electrical safety inspection
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Electrical accidents happen frequently because of lack of electrical safety inspections, resulting in very dangerous circumstances. A single electrical safety inspection can prevent something as tragic as your home burning down, a serious injury, or even a death. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has attributed the largest cause of property damage in home structures across the US to electrical problems.

In today’s society, we use increasingly more electrical appliances to make our lives easier, faster, and more efficient. With all of this time saving, we should also take the time to make sure that our homes are safe with electrical safety inspections.

It is vitally important that an electrical safety inspection is carried out by someone who is competent. A licensed electrician will have the necessary skills and knowledge to avoid any dangers with the electrical circuit.

If you are suddenly feeling overwhelmed and unsafe – don’t. Let’s start at the beginning:

Get to know your electrical set up

  • Main switch – This is the main consumer unit that allows you to turn off the power supply to your electrical service. There may be more than one main switch in any given situation. In case of emergency, it is vital to know where the main switch is located.
  • Fuses – If you have a slightly older home, it is likely that you will have replaceable fuses, amongst others, that automatically disconnect the circuit to prevent danger when there is a fault or overload in the current flow.
  • Circuit breakers – Newer homes normally have circuit breakers that switch off a circuit if there is a fault. Their protection against danger is more precise than fuses and easy to reset when they ‘trip’.
  • Residual current devices (RCD) – these are designed specifically to prevent fatal electrical shock if you touch something live. RCD’s work in a way that provide more protection than standard fuses or circuit breakers.

There are simple electrical hazards that you can avoid without an inspection

  • Don’t overload sockets
  • Pay attention to warning signs – like the smell of something burning, buzzing sounds, or circuit-breakers that keep tripping
  • Remove plugs from sockets carefully. Strain on a plug can loosen the wires and increase chance of electrical shock
  • Immediately replace damaged cables – exposed wires have the potential for fatalities
  • Unplug appliances before doing any maintenance on them
  • Don’t mix water and electricity – simple oversights like drying your clothes on a heater
  • Be aware of what lies behind a wall before drilling or driving nails or screws
  • Don’t overload adaptors or buy cheaper adaptors

Do you need an inspection?

Visual checks on electrical equipment are easy to do. Early signs of damage or deterioration should be your first warning sign, and must then be further checked by a competent person. Electrical installations are slightly more complex. They should be checked regularly enough in order to avoid any initial deterioration that may lead to danger. These checks on electrical installations should be inspected and tested by an approved contractor.

As a guideline whenever you sell or purchase a home – get an electrical safety inspection. It is also wise to do so when adding on to your home, conducting any renovations, or making any electrical changes to your home.

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