Last month was National Electrical Safety Month, and to help we offered up the Home Electrical Safety checklist to anyone willing to take the challenge. My wife, Hydie, and I took the challenge, and here is what we found…

  1. The refrigerator coils on the back and underneath were dirty, trapping heat, and creating a fire hazard.
  2. We hadn’t tested our GFCI receptacles since they were installed 2 years ago. One of them didn’t live up to the test. 🙁
  3. Bad habit I know, but we leave all toaster, coffee maker and microwave plugged in.
  4. There are no tamper-resistant receptacles installed in our home. And although we don’t have children, these receptacles can reduce the risk of electric shock injuries to everyone.
  5. Our living television and stereo need to be plugged into a surge-protecting power strip. I’m going to get one this weekend. Oh, and it’ll have telephone and TV protection too!
  6. One our extension cords has been repaired twice now, and the connectors are loose and broken. We finally threw it away.
  7. After completing the the Week 3 challenge, I cleaned all the leaves and debris from the air conditioner outside.
  8. My wife and I checked all breakers at the panel to make sure the label was correct. The water heater and cooktop breakers were mislabeled. Ooops!
  9. Our home was built in 1978 and we’ve remodeled in the last 8 years. We installed arc-fault protection (AFCI) on all the existing bedroom circuits as was code at the time. Since then AFCI protection is now required on ALL lighting and receptacle circuits.
  10. Hydie and I tested the AFCI breakers, and YES, they all were working properly.
  11. Dryer lint? We had this one figured out when we noticed our dryer wasn’t drying. That’s when we discovered the lint and very serious fire hazard that was developing. Needless to say it’s all clean and we watch it now!

Overall, we scored a 37 so we’re off to a good start! We’ll focus on the areas where we didn’t score well, and make a few simple changes that can make a big difference in our safety.

How did your home score? Did you learn anything new or discover a hazard you hadn’t realized was there?