According to the U.S. Fire Administration, electrical malfunctions caused 24,200 home fires in 2021 alone. One of the best ways to help mitigate the risk of electrical fires and protect your home is by having a residential electrical inspections. This blog explains how often you should schedule an electrical inspection to keep your home as safe as possible. 

What Is a Residential Electrical Inspection?

An electrician in a blue uniform stands in the middle of a room with a clipboard, completing a residential electrical inspection.

A residential electrical inspection is a thorough assessment of the electrical systems in your home. It’s conducted by a professional electrician who will ensure that all the electrical components are working properly and meet safety standards.  

Residential electrical inspections are necessary for preventing potential hazards, promoting long-term cost savings and efficiency, and providing homeowners with valuable peace of mind. 

During an electrical inspection, your electrician will check: 

  • The main electrical panel 
  • Circuit breakers 
  • Fuses 
  • Grounding systems 
  • Wiring connections 
  • Outlets 
  • Switches 
  • Light fixtures 
  • And any other electrical components present on your property 

When Should You Schedule an Electrical Inspection? 

An electrician inspecting the wires in a house with white walls

You should schedule an electrical inspection every 3-5 years to maintain a safe and efficient home environment. However, some factors can create the need for more frequent inspections. 

Age of the Property 

If your home is over 25 years old and hasn’t been inspected recently, it’s advisable to schedule one. Older homes often have electrical issues and outdated components like aluminum wiring, which are safety hazards. Additionally, older panels and other electrical components might not meet current safety standards. If you live in an older home, you may want to consider scheduling annual electrical inspections

Energy Consumption 

If your home has high energy consumption levels, this may indicate the need for more frequent inspections to monitor your electrical setup and ensure it can handle the ongoing electrical load. 

Signs You Need an Immediate Electrical Inspection

A hand plugging a cord into an electrical outlet producing smoke

Regular electrical inspections can help safeguard your home from electrical hazards, but sometimes, you may need to schedule an inspection immediately. 

These signs may indicate the need for an emergency inspection, regardless of your most recent inspection date: 

  • Flickering lights: This can be a sign of faulty wiring or an overloaded circuit. 
  • Burning smells: If your outlets or switches are emitting a burning smell, this can indicate serious electrical issues that require immediate attention. 
  • Sparks or smoke: If you notice sparks or smoke coming from any outlet or electrical device, this is a critical sign of an electrical problem that should be taken care of immediately. 

Other non-emergency factors can also indicate the need for a timely inspection. 

Post-Renovation Checks 

If your home has recently undergone major renovations or you’ve added new wiring inside or outside your house, a residential inspection can help ensure that the new installations comply with safety standards. 

You’ve Purchased a New Home

The exterior of a dark blue house in the evening, with glowing front porch lights, a big green lawn, and trees.

Moving into a new home is exciting, but there may be some electrical issues you’re not aware of. Faulty or outdated electrical systems can create safety hazards like electrical fires, electrocution, or damage to appliances and electronics. Having a professional electrical inspection will ensure you catch any risks early on before any damage is caused.

Changes in Energy Usage

If you’ve recently installed significant electrical systems like a home automation system, solar panels, or an upgraded HVAC system, an electrical inspection is key. This will ensure everything is safely integrated into your home’s electrical grid and that your current electrical setup can handle the extra load. You may also want to consider scheduling an immediate inspection if you’ve recently upgraded your appliances, as this tends to up your home’s energy consumption. 

Safeguard Your Home and Schedule a Residential Electrical Inspection Today 

Electrical inspections are an investment in the safety and efficiency of your home. Regular checks every 3-5 years can identify issues, saving you time and money in the long run. If you’re unsure about your home’s electrical safety or when your last inspection was, now is the time to reach out to a qualified residential electrician to schedule an inspection. 

Schafer Electric understands the importance of thorough residential electrical inspections. We value your home’s safety just as much as you do, and we have years of experience providing the North Bay Area with the best residential electrical services.  

Contact us online or give us a call at (707) 545-3300 to request a service. Don’t wait until it’s too late – schedule an electrical inspection today to protect the safety of you and your home. 

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