Major Electrical Safety Checks Every homeowner should know

31 May 2022

Conducting electrical safety checks on your home is necessary to prevent electrical issues. Although there are local electricians in Sydney whom you can call, electrical safety checks can help you find and fix an electrical issue to prevent damage and even save a life. 

Here are the ten major electrical safety checks that you need at least once a year to make sure that your electrical system is working properly. We recommended hiring a professional local residential electrician Sydney to conduct them for you.

1. Breaker Panel

Have an electrician check your main electrical panel and the areas surrounding it. They will also check if you have three feet of clearance all around it and if there is an available battery-operated light source ready when the light goes out. 

They will also inspect the breakers for any signs of rust or rodent activity. The circuit breaker switches are included for any signs of corrosion that will prevent them from operating properly.

2. GFCI Testing

Electrical outlets that are exposed to a water source must be ground fault circuit protected. It can be in the form of individual outlets or an outlet in a series of the same circuit. Sometimes, there are GFCI breakers in the panel. No matter where the GFCI outlet is, you should be able to press the test button to make sure that all the outlets affected are turned off and safe. If not, an electrician in Sydney can repair or replace the defective outlet.

3. Test all the Outlets

Even without calling an electrician, there are tools available to quickly check your outlets if they are working properly like the receptacle tester or the block or cube tester. It is a simple device that you can plug into an outlet and display lights when there is an issue. These tools are accessible and should have a place in your toolbox.

4. Exposed Wires Inspection

Another electrical component that electricians will inspect is exposed electrical wires. They will check them for cracks, splits, and rodent activity. Electricians will look for signs of chewing or nest building and will take the necessary steps to repair the damaged wires and remove any rodent activities.

5. Check all Extension Cords

 This is something that does not require an electrician. Extension cords are essential for DIYers but they also have the potential to be the cause of an electrical emergency. Examine your extension cords regularly for any signs of cuts, nicks, and other damage. Also, ensure that any extension cords used for your power tools are within their amperage rating.

6. Check your Exterior Outlets

Aside from the electrical outlets inside your home, you should also include the exterior outlets in your checklist. Make sure that these outlets are protected against harsh elements and animals. Exterior outlets should also be GFCI-protected and should be included in your GFCI tests. 

7. Check for Tamper-Resistant Outlets

A recent addition to the electrical safety checklist are tamper-resistant outlets checks. These outlets which are reachable by children should have an interior shield that prevents the insertion of foreign objects like paper clips or coins, thereby preventing shocks.

It can be done with a visual check. Tamper resistant outlets have plastic barriers behind the receptacle opening. If there is a dark space behind the receptacle opening, then it is not tamper-resistant. You can ask an electrician in Sydney to upgrade them.

8. Check the Outlets for Tightness

Another DIY electrical safety check for your outlet is for tightness. Outlets can wear out over time. If the plug sits loosely, you need to call an electrician to replace the outlet with a new receptacle. 

9. Voltage Test

Part of your electrical safety checks involves the behaviour of your home's electronic devices. If they are behaving irregularly, like flickering or dimming lighting, check the voltage on that outlet. It can be due to a loose wire. Conduct a voltage test using a voltmeter to eliminate the possible cause of the problem. 

10. Contact an Electrician

Do not attempt to handle any electrical issues yourself if you are not an electrician. Consider hiring an electrician in Sydney to inspect your home before a renovation or if the house is 40 years or older. By doing this, you will have peace of mind and can prevent problems by addressing the causes before an electrical issue can happen.  

I’m the studying at the University of Sydney. I’m also an author, startup mentor,consultant and entrepreneur.