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Home Safety: How to Solve Your Biggest Problems

Did you know there could be unknown home safety issues lurking in your presumed safe haven? Your home’s age, installation issues, wear and tear, and overlooking safety devices could put you at risk.

Does your home have any of the following home safety issues?

  • Insufficient or poorly maintained smoke detectors. Every year more than 3,400 Americans die and over 17,000 are injured in fires. Ensure your home is protected by installing smoke detectors on each level of your home near sleeping areas. Replace batteries annually at a minimum, testing monthly for reliability. Also check for expired smoke detectors, which are not reliable. Replacement is recommended every 8 to 10 years. If yours are so old no date is visible, new detectors are well past due.
  • No carbon monoxide monitors. Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is the number one cause of poisoning deaths in the country. Why? CO is completely colorless and odorless, and naturally produced as a by-product of the operation of all combustion appliances and heat sources. Installing CO detectors in your home is an important home safety measure in protecting you and your family. Install at least one detector near the sleeping area of your home, adding more to each level of your home and one to each bedroom for extra protection. Replace old detectors every 5-6 years.
  • Electrical panel issues Older panels are insufficient for the array of gadgets and appliances in use in the average home today and can be easily overloaded. Improper wiring from DIY-ers, oversized or undersized breakers, and panels deemed defective and unsafe for use (some installed as recently as the 1980s) could result in fire or shock. Update your panel to a newer, more well designed option to prevent home safety issues.
  • No backup generator.  While some may not view this as a home safety issue, backup generators protect your home and family from short and long-term unexpected power outages due to weather, or accidents. They keep necessary appliances in operation, ensuring the safety and comfort of your family in the event of a snowstorm, heat wave, and more. Additionally, they protect the contents of your refrigerator and keep your kitchen up and running. Consider purchasing a standby model, which starts automatically and has the capability to power your entire home, or less expensive portable generators for powering a few select appliances.

Code and Wiring Updates Wiring codes in the U.S. are updated every three years to ensure electrical safety across the country. As a result, families living in older homes are at an increased risk of electrical safety issues due to:

  • Ungrounded outlets Two prongs, ungrounded outlets are not safe as electricity has no emergency exit. Three prong outlets should be installed – and wiring issues address – for safety.
  • Outdated or exposed wiring Exposed wiring, knob and tube wiring, and aluminum wiring all pose dangerous safety issues.
  • GFCIs GFCIs protect you from shock and are designed to operate before electricity can affect your heartbeat. They are required for home safety in all areas of your home near water sources.
  • Child proof outlets Spring-loaded cover plates on child proof outlets protect electrical contacts from the insertion of foreign objects by children, 70 percent of which occur in the presence of an adult. They are a simple, inexpensive solution required in new homes since 2008.
  • Extension cords Often overlooked, extension cords are unsafe for permanent use.

Ensure home safety with an electrical home inspection  Don’t let home safety issues result in property damage or present a danger to your family. Find and address home safety hazards quickly and efficiently with an electrical home inspection. Mr. Electric® can provide a detailed, prioritized written checklist of all areas of your home requiring immediate attention, areas for improvement, and potential upgrade possibilities to ensure the safety of your home. Ensure peace of mind by proactively addressing home safety issues. Contact Mr. Electric today. Our professional electricians are dedicated to the safety of your home and family.