When it comes to home safety, the area that we find the most problems relate to the home electrical systems. I hope you enjoy learning some of the basics to watch for when you visit homes to alert the owner of some simple things that often get overlooked. The pictures come from actual inspections. Take a look at this….
The simplest (and cheapest) to correct and the most discounted item is the missing receptacle (outlet) and junction box covers. “Just don’t stick your finger in there” is the most common comment that everyone laughs about. It doesn’t take much common sense when you have outlet covers missing when there are small children in the home.
It is the safest, non-safe, outlet I’ve ever seen. At least the seller installed those child-proof covers! We all know that children are curious and put things in places where they don’t belong. If you see something like this, it only takes 29 cents to fix and prevent a child from getting hurt.
If you’re in the basement, garage or attic, another item to look for is an open junction box. Again, the typical answer is “Don’t stick your finger in there!” But there is a more serious hazard that exists. Those covers not only prevents someone from getting an electric shock, protect the wiring, but those covers also contain sparks should a connection come loose. A spark is an ignition source that could lead to serious property damage or even loss of life. Again, this isn’t an expensive fix and is often ignored or discounted. This particular picture shows an open junction box that was dusted with cellulose in an attic. Hmmm…fine paper dust next to a spark source.
The most important service good home inspectors can perform is to keep public safety in mind and to educate as to the why’s.
Greg Liebig, 4-Square Home Inspections, LLC