Spring cleaning and warmer weather go hand in hand. The Electrical Safety Foundation (ESFI) recommends that along with removing the unwanted dust and clutter, homeowners also eliminate electrical hazards. ESFI suggests starting with the garage, an important (but often overlooked) space when it comes to home inspection and fire safety. This room usually contains one of the leading causes of home fires ‐ electrical distribution systems. Here are some important things to check when performing your own inspection:
- Check the label inside the door or cover of your electrical service panel to see when your electrical system was last inspected. If the date has passed or is approaching, contact a licensed electrician to schedule an inspection.
- Be sure circuit breakers and fuses are correctly labeled with their amperage and their corresponding rooms, circuits, or outlets. Use correct size and current rating for breakers/fuses.
- Increase your fire protection by having a licensed electrician replace your standard circuit breakers with arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs).
- Check for excessive vibration or movement when the washing machine or dryer is operating. This can put stress on electrical connections.
- Make sure the area around your dryer is clutter free and that the dryer lint filter is cleaned after each load. Build up can be a fire starter.
Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home and outside every sleeping area. Test these alarms to ensure that they are in working order and replace the batteries when needed.