Houston Home Service Experts

Fall Electrical Safety Inspection for Houston Homes

According to the ESFI (Electrical Safety Foundation), there are four reasons that require a residential electrical safety inspection: if a home is 40 years or older, if you are purchasing a home, if you are involved in a major renovation or if you have purchased a large appliance. However, there are many reason for a home to have a regularly scheduled inspection. Much like typical HVAC maintenance, a comprehensive assessment of your electrical system can help avert potential hazards by diagnosing a small issue before it can worsen. Electricity is something most homeowners take for granted. It isn’t until there is a problem, when basic comforts are compromised, that the condition of the system becomes an issue.

Aside from the chaos that an electrical failure can create, the question of fire safety is also a huge concern. Ensuring that there are no potential electrical hazards and keeping the electrical system up to code are compelling reasons to have regular electrical assessments of your system. The good news is that unlike your HVAC tune-ups, which must be performed twice yearly, regular electrical maintenance can be performed every few years (depending on the individual system).

While an electrical safety inspection should only be performed by a professional technician, there are several things a homeowner can do to help maintain the health of their system. A few weeks ago we wrote about end of summer electrical safety, which touched upon a few of the tips that we are sharing again today. If you put off performing those procedures, now is a good time to revisit them. The following safety checklist was created by the ESFI and should be helpful in ensuring safety – and deciding whether or not to schedule safety inspection.

Switches and Outlets

  • Are all switches and outlets working? If they are operating Improperly, this might indicate an unsafe wiring condition.
  • Are any switches or outlets hot to the touch? If yes, stop using immediately! This would also indicate an unsafe wiring
  • Are any switches or outlets discolored? Discoloration signifies a potentially hazardous heat buildup!
  • Do electrical plugs easily fit into every outlet? Loose-fitting plugs can cause overheating and can potentially start a fire. The outlet should be replaced if it is incompatible with plugs.
  • Are there any sizzling or buzzing noises when a switch is turned on? This might indicate an unsafe wiring condition, such as a loose connection.


  • Take an inventory of all electrical cords in the house. Are any of them cracked, frayed or damaged? Damaged cords have exposed wires, which are a fire and shock hazard. Do not use the appliance again and replace it immediately.
  • Are there any cords in the house pinched/restricted by furniture or doors/windows? This can cause damage to the cord and create a fire/shock hazard. The cord needs to be moved.
  • Are there any cords attached to the home with staples or nails? Staples and nails can cut into or pinch a cord, which can cause a fire or shock hazard.
  • Are there any cords under rugs/carpets? Cords can overheat underneath a rug/carpet and can also cause someone to trip.
  • Are you using an extension cord on a permanent basis? Extension cords are for temporary use only. Extended use can damage the cord and create a fire hazard.
  • Are extension cords kept wrapped/tied while in use? Wrapped cords can trap heat, which can cause melting or weakening of insulation. Never use a wrapped cord!

Lamps and Appliances

  • Check the bulbs in your lamps to make sure they are the correct wattage. A bulb with a higher wattage than recommended may overheat the fixture or wiring which could cause a fire.
  • Are all your appliance cords placed away from hot surfaces? Cords can melt or burn from the heat, which can create a fire or shock hazard.

Electrical Panel

  • Do you experience recurring tripped circuits or blown fuses? Fuses and circuits are safety devices that prevent the overloading of your electrical system. Frequent blown fuses or circuits can signify a serious problem.
  • Are your fuses and circuit breakers the correct size for the circuit? The wrong size fuse or circuit breaker can cause the wiring to overheat.
  • Does your electrical panel have arc fault circuit breakers (AFCIs) installed? AFCIs provide greater electrical fire protection. If they have been installed, do you test them every month?

Electrical safety should be a priority in very Houston household. If you are concerned about your electrical system and would like to schedule a safety inspection, contact us today. We can investigate any concerns you might have on the ESFI checklist -and give your home’s system a thorough inspection to ensure there are no hazards or code violations. Call us at (713) 364-0226 to schedule an inspection today!