Electrical Safety

The electrical system of a building should be inspected every five years. During an inspection, the inspector open all circuit breaker boxes and notice any overloading of power and test for any voltage drops. A licensed and certified electrician must do the assessment. He will be able to professionally inspect for any other conditions that may pose a fire safety issue. All electrical outlets close to water sources must be ground-fault protected. Don’t worry; your electrician will know what I mean. It’s simply protection from the ‘hot’ wires carrying the electricity.

It is especially prudent to have an electrician conduct a review if you have specific brands of circuit breaker boxes such as Federal Pacific, Electric Stab-Lok and Zinsco, because these brands have a history of failure.

Here’s another thing the electrician should do: check out if the branch wiring (branch wiring is the wiring connected to 15 and 20-ampere circuit breakers standard in most households) is aluminum. If there is any indication that the branch wiring is made of aluminum, and your electrician will know, then all devices (outlets and switches) should be inspected to see if any connections are loose.

Loose connections may cause arcing. GFCI or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters and AFCI or Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters should be installed at the required locations.

An electric arc is a current often intense, brief, and luminous, in which electrons jump across a gap. Unwanted arcs in electrical circuits can cause fires.