When was the last time you checked to see if your home meets the minimum electrical code standards? Many central Texas homes don’t. The National Electrical Code (NEC) is a set of basic standards that ensure safe installation of electrical wiring and equipment in the U.S. It’s designed to prevent fires and electric shocks, to keep circuits from overloading, and more. The code is updated every three years so you can imagine that parts of your home’s electrical system may not meet the suggested safety standards.
Here are just a couple of improvements worth considering:
- Protect your family from electrocution by installing ground-fault circuit interrupter receptacles in your bathrooms, kitchen, laundry room, garage and any other space where water and electricity are available. They will protect you from shock if you come into contact with water while you’re using an electrical device.
- Go a step further and add an arc fault circuit interrupter to every room in your home (according to NEC 2011, the only rooms that do not require them are bathrooms, kitchens, unfinished basements, garages and outdoors). AFCIs detect a short circuit (“arcing”) and can prevent electrical fires and sparks that can occur if a space heater falls over.
- Add hard-wired smoke alarms in every bedroom and in the hallway outside of sleeping areas. The battery-operated models that most older homes use too often don’t work because we don’t change the batteries often enough. Many homeowners have only one smoke detector on each floor, which isn’t enough, according to today’s building codes. Choose detectors with battery backup so they’ll work if the electricity goes out. Interconnected detectors go off all over the house if one of them detects a fire.
Most likely, a trained professional probably assessed things when you bought the house. Sometimes, the date of the last electrical inspection is noted on the door or cover of your electrical panel, where fuses or circuit breakers are located. BUT: If that last inspection was 10 to 40 years ago, you should get a licensed pro to check things now! Jackson Electric can send a master electrician to your home to look over everything and give you peace of mind.