Safety checks for your home

We all have our end of the year to-do list. It usually features items such as gathering paperwork for the year’s taxes, taking household goods and clothing to goodwill, preparing the house for winter and performing any service needed on your heat pump or generator. But we don’t always think about checking for any possible electrical hazards.

We at Miller & Miller Electric put together a quick list to make sure your home is safe and hazard free. As 2013 comes closer to an end, be sure to take the time to perform these electrical checks.

Breaker box: Take a look at your breaker box to ensure that everything is functioning properly and be sure to check the temperature periodically throughout the year.

Electrical outlets: The most commonly overlooked hazards are electrical outlets that no longer work or that only works intermittently.  Houses that are more than 15-years-old can have up to ¼” inch of dust inside wall outlets. Often when we try to use these outlets, we wiggle the wires, which can potentially create a spark and start a fire in your wall.  Any outlets that are not working need to be looked at by a licensed electrician.

Miller & Miller Electric, Electrician in Raleigh, NCExposed wires: Other potential fire hazards are open splices and rodent damage.  Open splices are usually found in the attic and are subject to items being placed over them.  Without a proper cover, this can damage the wires and start a fire. Rodents that get into your attic and chew on the wires can also cause a fire.

Smoke detectors: They are normally rated for 5 years, but there are new detectors on the market that are rated for 10 years and are worth the investment.

Light bulbs: If you have fluorescent light bulbs that need to be changed often, it is either time for a new fixture or new ballast.  Fluorescent lights can catch on fire and melt the connections. Also, any light bulb that is making noises it is an indication that it is defective and should be changed to eliminate hazard conditions. 

Light dimmers: By design, dimmers run hot to the touch. If you feel that yours is running too hot it may improperly sized for the wattage of the fixture and could present a fire hazard.

Gas vents: If your home’s gas vents only go into the attic, it is a code violation and fire hazard if anything is placed over it.

Gas line: In North Carolina, we have a higher number of lightning strikes than many other states. If you have a gas line that has CSST pipe you need to have it bonded.

Finally, any time an electrical odor is detected a licensed electrical contractor should be notified immediately. If your home needs any electrical updates or safety checks done, Miller & Miller Electric will help you pare down your to-do list and work with you to fix any issues that come up. Contact us today for a consultation.