Electricity is essential to our daily lives, but often we take it for granted for some reason. We tend to overlook its benefits to our productivity, technology, and comfort.
However, people still need to remember that electricity is a force that might be hazardous if mishandled. The lack of understanding of electrical safety can lead to health hazards and increased expenses. Since we can’t function without electricity, proper maintenance is necessary, but so is safety.
What Is an Electrical Safety Inspection?
A certified electrician conducts an electrical safety inspection to ensure that your property or office’s electrical system is up to code and all electrical systems, including cables, electrical panels, and electrical components, are functioning correctly and without hazards.
Typically, the inspector will assess your electrical systems and give them a “pass/fail” rating based on their current condition. They will also give you a report on the current state of your wiring as a whole. The complete testing and inspection process for an average-sized property takes around 2-4 hours on average. However, it varies depending on the size of your property and any other structures on your site.
What Determines a Pass or Fail?
The National Electrical Code (NEC) in the United States specifies the requirements you need to comply with your property. These are safety requirements, tested and proven to provide the ideal protection against fire and electrical hazards. They need to be up to date to ensure that your home is well-equipped to meet today’s electrical demands.
The NEC updates its code regularly to adapt to industry changes. There have been 15 modifications to the code’s requirements since its initial presentation in 1975. These changes have finally paid off, with a remarkable 83 percent reduction in electrical shocks in the last 40 years. The edition in effect in your state determines whether your property will receive a pass or a fail.
The most recent revision is from 2017; however, not all states have embraced it yet. The 2008 version of the code, for example, is currently in effect in Pennsylvania. The following are the electrical requirements that your property must meet in general:
Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs)
The Consumer Product Safety Commission agrees that GFCIs are necessary. They discovered that GFCIs prevented up to 50% of cases involving household electrocutions. These circuit breakers are essential since they can prevent electrical shocks, thus preventing possible hazards and bodily harm. They effectively function by trapping electricity and preventing it from injuring people in case of an overload.
Tamper Resistant Receptacles (TRRs)
This rule is in place to keep your children safe from potentially hazardous electrical occurrences. The TRR standard contributes to a long-term solution to injuries caused by non-tamper-proof covers. If your home’s electrical systems do not meet these and other requirements, you could be facing more than simply a “fail.”
Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs)
Electrical fires are typically due to arc faults. They were enforced initially in 1999 and have remained so since then. AFCIs are estimated to prevent 50% of electrical fires each year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
If you plan to inspect your electrical system, the best installation you could have in your building is steel insulated gasketed access doors because they provide a convenient access point for your maintenance personnel. By doing so, your personnel can work with efficiency and confidence that the place will have protection against any potential damage after their work is over.
Other Technical Issues
During an inspection, an electrical inspector may search for the following technical faults. While it is better to leave identifying these flaws and bringing them up to code to a specialist, it is vital to know about them and ensure that your equipment is completely safe when they perform their inspection.
- A water leak that might compromise the system
- Broken/missing breakers in the electrical panel
- Ill-fitting connections
- Wire defects of any kind
- Grounding system
- Properly coded colors for wires
- Take electrical readings
On average, you must inspect your installations and appliances, such as smoke detectors, monthly. You can perform this test independently by holding the test button as you press it on your smoke detector. You’ll know if it is in good working order if the siren blares. You should replace the batteries right away if the sound is weak or you don’t hear any.
You should conduct a full electrical safety assessment at least once every ten years for private property and once every five years for a rental one.
The following are some general guidelines for passing an electrical safety check. Electrical inspections can be stressful for some people because they might not want to deal with the risk of undertaking any further effort. Considering what to look for during an electrical inspection might help you be more ready and informed of what to anticipate. The best action, however, is to hire a licensed professional. They are equipped with both knowledge and equipment to handle this vital inspection.