Residential Electrical Wiring Repair & Safety Tips

Is any cord frayed, cracked, or otherwise damaged?  
YES: Replace all damaged cords or replace equipment. Damaged cords may have exposed live wires that can be shock and fire hazards.  

Is any cord placed where it might be stepped on?  
YES: Move all cords so they are out of the path of foot traffic. Cords placed in the path of traffic are tripping hazards. Cords can be damaged when stepped on, creating a fire or shock hazard.  

Is any piece of furniture or rug resting on an electrical cord?  
YES: Move cords or furniture so cords are not covered. Heavy weights or traffic can damage cords, crushing insulation or breaking wire strands, creating a fire or shock hazard.  

Is any cord tightly wrapped around any object?  
YES: Unwrap cords. Wrapped cords trap heat that normally escapes loose cords, which can lead to melting or weakening of insulation.  

Are cords attached to anything (wall, baseboard, etc) with nails or wire staples?  
YES: Remove any nails and/or staples and replace damaged cords. Nails and staples can tear or crush the insulation or cut the wires inside, presenting a fire or shock hazard.  

Are all extensions cords equipped with safety covers on the unused outlets?  
NO: Use safety covers that fill the slots of every unused outlet. Children can be shocked or seriously burned when they play with uncovered outlets. Check the electrical rating on appliances and extension cords.  

Is any extension cord carrying more that its proper load?  
YES: Replace cord with a higher capacity cord (16 AWG handles 1375 W, use 14 or 12 AWG for heavier loads). Too much current will cause the wires to get hot. If the cord, plug, or outlet feels warm, it may be overloaded, and can be a fire hazard.  

Is any extension cord being used on a permanent basis?  
YES: Have new outlets installed where needed, or move appliance closer to an outlet. Extension cords are not as safe as permanent house wiring. Installed wiring can carry more current and is protected from accidental damage that could cause shock or fire.  

Is all the entertainment equipment placed so that air can freely circulate around it?  
NO: Move equipment so it has room to “breathe.” Avoid enclosing equipment in a cabinet without proper openings and do not store papers around equipment. Blocking air flow to equipment can cause overheating and a possible fire hazard. (Refer to the owner’s manual for guidance.)

Is all the equipment in a dry location, free of any source of water, including rain, leaks, and spills?  
NO: Relocate equipment away from water source such as plants and aquariums. Mixing electricity and water can result in a serious shock or fire hazard.  

Is your answer YES to any of the following?  

  • Is your home 40 years old or older?  
  • Has your home had a major addition or renovation or major new appliance added in the last 10 years?  
  • Are you the new owner of a previously owned home?  
  • Do your lights often flicker or dim momentarily?  
  • Do your circuit breakers trip or fuses blow often?  
  • Are you outlet and light switch face plates hot to the touch or discolored?  
  • Do you hear crackling, sizzling or buzzing from your outlets?  
  • Do you have extension cords and multiple power strips permanently in use around the house?

If so, call today for your Indoor Electrical Home Safety Check.

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