The Importance of Electrical Safety for the Common Homeowner

Home Inspector with NextDay Inspect

Electricity: The Double-edged Blade

Electricity has become a blessing of convenience. However, it does have an element of danger. For example, in the year 2012 alone, electrical fires claimed the lives of over 500 Americans, as well as 2,300 more injured people. Many of these fires were started by improper wiring at home or by faulty appliances. However, many were caused by common misuse of electrical appliances and cords that cause electricity to leak out and cause fires.


Here's a view things you can do to make sure you're not susceptible to any potential dangers:

  • For overhead powerlines, keep any ladders, equipment, or flying objects (including drones) away.
  • Don't place a power strip directly underneath a rug or flammable material.
  • Outlets near water need to be GFCI-type outlets.
  • Always utilize the correct fuse to protect a circuit.
  • Find and resolve any overloaded circuits.


What You Should Watch Out for in Your Home

Electrical Panels

Here's a tip to help you avoid the embarrassment of an electrical fire — do you know where your main switch is located? If not, it's probably in your basement. Now, if you're just getting started with DIY electrical work, this could be a dangerous situation — so take note: most circuit breaker panels consist of a circuit-breaker switch, fuses, and outlet sockets.


Appliances need to be treated with care. They may have hot parts, and they may tingle or shock you if you touch them. Don't insert metal objects into them as it may cause damage. Always check appliances periodically, including washers and dryers. Replace worn or cracked parts before they break down completely. If you see anything that looks like it won't work correctly, get a replacement or have a professional repair it.

Electricity & Water

If you're standing in water or on a damp floor, whether you know it or not, you've become a deadly conductor of electricity. This is dangerous to both you and your kids. Avoid using electrical appliances near water. Don't touch any appliance with wet hands. Any wall socket lacking a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) should be considered live at all times, even when the power's off.


Thank you for reading! If you want your home inspected for electrical dangers, then schedule with NextDay Inspect®! Our full home inspections include checking outlets and certain wiring to ensure the utmost safety for our clients.


Happy holidays!



Comments (2)

John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Very good report about the importance of electrical safety for the common homeowner.

Dec 24, 2021 02:12 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

When it comes to handling electrical issues in the home I usually retain a professional to do the job. Better safe than sorry.

Dec 27, 2021 01:21 PM