Pepe Electric LLC

Home Electrical Safety Audit

Room by Room Checklist   


To obtain maximum benefit from your electrical Safety check:

Identify--Use the checklist to spot any electrical safety problems which may be present in your home.

Correct--Take appropriate action to remove or correct any problems which you spot.

Re-inspect--Periodically re-inspect using this checklist to be sure that no new electrical safety problems have developed.


In a living room, you should check your lighting, its cords, extension cords, heaters and TV/audio equipment.


bulletAre the bulbs the appropriate wattage for the size of the fixture? Especially check bulbs in ceiling fixtures and in "hooded" lamps that will trap heat. bulletA bulb of too high wattage may lead to fire through overheating.


__ Yes __ No  Replace with a correct wattage bulb. If you don't know the correct wattage, use a bulb no larger than 60 watts.



bulletAre cords placed out of the traffic areas? bulletTripping hazard may result. Also, stepping on cords can damage them, leading to a fire hazard.


__ Yes __ No Keep cords out of the way of traffic areas.


bulletAre cords free of furniture resting on them?


__ Yes __ No Keep furniture off cords.


bulletAre cords in good condition (not frayed or cracked)? bulletShock and fire hazards can result from damaged cords.


__ Yes __ No Replace cords not in good condition.


bulletAre cords unwrapped (that is, not wrapped around themselves or an object of any kind)? bulletTightly wrapped cords can lead to overheating.


__ Yes __ No Keep cords free.


bulletAre any cords attached with nails or staples to the wall, baseboard or another object?


__ Yes __ No Remove any nails or staples.


Note: The following items in this section pertain to extension cords only.

bulletAre all extension cords equipped with safety covers on the unused receptacles? bulletChildren and pets can be shocked or seriously burned through contact with uncovered outlets.


__ Yes __ No Use safety covers.


bulletAre any extension cords carrying more than their proper load? Check the electrical rating on both the appliance and the extension cord. bulletOverloaded extension cords are a fire hazard.


__ Yes __ No Replace overloaded cord with proper size heavy-duty type.


bulletAre all extension cords being used only on a temporary basis? bulletExtension cords are not as safe as permanent house wiring.


__ Yes __ No Have receptacles installed where they are needed.



bulletDo all unused outlets have safety covers placed in receptacle openings? bulletShock hazard can result if children insert objects into outlets.


__ Yes __ No Purchase inexpensive safety covers for all unused outlets.


bulletAre all outlets and switches working properly? bulletImproperly operating outlets or switches indicate an unsafe wiring condition may exist.


__ Yes __ No Have an electrician check them.


bulletAre all outlets and switches cool to the touch? bulletUnusually warm outlet or switch may indicate an unsafe wiring conditions exists.


__ Yes __ No Unplug any cord or stop using the switch and have an electrician check.


bulletDo electrical plugs fit snugly into all outlets? bulletLoose-fitting plugs can cause overheating.


__ Yes __ No Have the outlet replaced.


bulletDo all outlets have a faceplate so that no wiring is exposed? bulletExposed wiring is a shock hazard.


__ Yes __ No Install faceplates.



bulletAre all the cords in good condition? bulletDamaged cords are a fire and shock hazard.


__ Yes __ No Have damaged cords replaced.


bulletIs the equipment placed so that the cord will not trip someone walking by?


__ Yes __ No Move equipment so that cords are not in a traffic area.


bulletIs the equipment placed so that air can freely circulate around it? bulletBlocking air flow to equipment can cause overheating.


__ Yes __ No Allow equipment to "breath." Avoid enclosed in a cabinet without proper openings and don't store papers around it.


bulletIs the equipment placed in a dry location, free both of rain and any other sources of water? bulletMixing electricity and water may result in a fire or shock hazard.


__ Yes __ No Relocate equipment as necessary. Move water sources such as plants and aquariums.



bulletDoes it bear a seal of a nationally-recognized testing laboratory? bulletHeaters not tested by nationally-recognized testing labs provide less assurance that safety features are adequate.


__ Yes __ No Take added precautions in using this equipment.


bulletIs it placed away from combustibles such as drapes and newspapers?


__ Yes __ No Move equipment away from combustibles.


bulletIs the equipment stable and placed where it will not be tipped over? bulletA fire hazard can result if a heater is tipped over. Animals and even blowing drapes can be factors.


__ Yes __ No Place heater where it will be stable and not likely to be tipped over.


bulletIs the heater in good working condition? bulletOperating problems may indicate an unsafe electrical condition.


__ Yes __ No Have the heater repaired or replaced.


bulletIf an adapter is used in the outlet to connect a heater with a 3-prong plug, is the adapter ground wire or tab attached to the outlet? bulletThe grounding feature provided by a 3-hole receptacle or an adapter for a 2-hole receptacle is a safety feature designed to lessen the risk of shock. Never defeat the adapter's grounding feature.


__ Yes __ No Properly ground heaters with 3-prong plugs.



Many of the checkpoints listed for the living room will also apply to the kitchen. Although no space is provided below, be sure to check lights, extension cords, outlets and switches in the kitchen just as you did in the living room. In addition, check the following:



bulletAre these appliances unplugged when not in use? bulletUnattended, plugged-in appliances create an unnecessary risk.


__ Yes __ No Unplug when not in use.


bulletAre all appliance cords placed so that they will not come in contact with a hot surface? Pay part/cu/ar attention to cords around toasters, ovens and ranges. bulletCords can be damaged by excess heat.


__ Yes __ No Relocate cords away from any heat source.


bulletAre all appliances located away from the sink? bulletElectrical appliances are particularly hazardous if they come in contact with water.


__ Yes __ No Relocate away from the sink area.



bulletHave you ever received even a slight shock (other than one from static electricity) from any of these appliances?


__ Yes __ No Don't touch until appliance has been checked by an electrician.


bulletIs the top and area above cooking range free of combustibles (for example, potholders, plastic utensils)? bulletUsing range area for storage of non-cooking equipment may result in fires or burns.


__ Yes __ No Remove combustibles from range.


bulletIs there excessive vibration or movement when the washer or dryer is operating? bulletMovement during operation can put undue stress on electrical connections.


__ Yes __ No Level the appliance. If excessive movement continues, call the appliance dealer.



bulletAre the circuits providing power to the counter top outlets equipped with GFCI's? bulletGFCI's can prevent many electrocutions. CPSC recommends their use in kitchens, bathrooms and other areas where the risk of electric shock is high.


__ Yes __ No Consider having GFCI's installed.




bulletThe major hazard in a bathroom is the potential combination of electricity with water. So in addition to checking lighting fixtures, outlets and switches, check the following: bulletAre the bathroom outlets protected by GFCI's? bulletGFCI's are required for the "bathroom by most current building codes. However, older homes may not be equipped with GFCI's.


__ Yes __ No Consider having GFCI's installed. Note that portable GFCI's are available.


bulletIf you have GFCI's, do you test them regularly? bulletGFCI's must be operating properly to protect against electrocution.


__ Yes __ No Regularly test the GFCI's in accordance with manufacturer's instructions.


bulletCHECK SMALL ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES SUCH AS HAIR DRYERS, CURLING IRONS AND RAZORS. (IT IS A GOOD PRACTICE TO MINIMIZE THE USE OF ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES IN A BATHROOM, PARTICULARLY WHEN USED NEAR WATER.) bulletAre they unplugged when not in use? bulletPlugged-in electrical appliances (even when switched off) may result in an electrocution hazard if they fall into water.


__ Yes __ No Unplug when not in use.


bulletAre they in good condition? Pay particular attention to erratic operation and damaged wiring or other parts.


__ Yes __ No Discard or have repaired.


bulletAre portable heaters ever used in bathroom? bulletPortable heaters, used in bathrooms where there is water and many grounded surfaces, provide a high electrocution risk.


__ Yes __ No Don't use portable heaters in bathroom.



As you did with the living/family room and kitchen, check all lamps, cords, extension cords, audio visual equipment, heaters, outlets and switches even though no space is provided below. In addition, check the following:


bulletIs it in good condition? Look for cracks or breaks in wiring, plugs and connectors. Also, look for charred spots on both sides of blanket surfaces. bulletAny of these conditions indicate a potential fire hazard.


__ Yes __ No Discard.


bulletIs anything covering the blanket when in use? bulletWhen covered by other blankets or comforters, electric blankets may overheat. (This includes pets sleeping on top of the blanket.)


__ Yes __ No Don't allow anything on top of the blanket when it is in use.


bulletIs the blanket used flat? bulletFolded back blankets may overheat.


__ Yes __ No Don't fold back electric blankets.


bulletIf tucked in, is it done in accordance with the manufacturer's instruction (so that the heating coils are not bent around the corners)? bulletDamaged coils may result in a fire hazard.


__ Yes __ No Don't bend coils.



Most of the hazards, found in the other rooms in the house are present even to a greater extent in the basement, garage and workshop because of the nature of the environment and the activities performed there.


bulletAre all power tools equipped with a 3-prong plug or marked to indicate they are double insulated? bulletThese safety features reduce the risk of electric shock.


__ Yes __ No Consider replacing older tools lacking the safety feature.



bulletIf fuses are used, are they the correct sizes for the circuits? bulletThe wrong size fuse can be a fire hazard.


__ Yes __ No __ Don't Know Install the correct sizes. If the correct sizes are unknown, consider having an electrician identify and label the sizes to be used.


bulletIf circuit breakers are used, do you periodically turn them off and on to exercise their mechanism? bulletCircuit breakers must be "exercised" periodically to keep them in good working order.


__ Yes __ No Turn off the freezer, refrigerator and air conditioner. Flip each circuit breaker three times off and on. Do this once a year. Turn the appliances on after doing this.


bulletIf GFCI's are installed, are they periodically tested? bulletGFCI's should be tested to assure they will operate to protect against electrocution.


__ Yes __ No __ No GFCI's Follow the manufacturer's instructions to test the GFCI's.



Like the basement, garage and workshop area, the outdoor area can present a number of hazardous conditions:


bulletDoes each outlet have its own waterproof cover? bulletMoisture can get into outside receptacles and cause a malfunction, resulting in possible shock hazard.


__ Yes __ No __ Have the proper waterproof covers installed and keep them closed on unused outlets.


bulletAre the outside receptacles protected with ground fault circuit interrupters? bulletGFCI's are required for the outside circuits by most current building codes. However, older homes may not be equipped with GFCI's.


__ Yes __ No __ Consider having GFCI's installed. Note that portable GFCI's are available.



bulletAre power cords in good condition (no cracks, exposed wires, etc.)? bulletDamaged cords are a shock and fire hazard.


__ Yes __ No __ Have damaged cords replaced.


bulletIs the equipment in good working order (that is, no abnormal or erratic operation)? bulletAbnormal or erratic operation may cause unsafe conditions to occur.


__ Yes __ No __ Have the equipment repaired or replaced.


bulletAre extension cords used outside specifically marked for such use? bulletCords not made for outdoor use may not withstand the greater abuse resulting from outside use. This may result in a fire or shock hazard.


__ Yes __ No __ Use only extension cords marked for outdoor use.


bulletWhen using products equipped with 3-prong plugs, do you use the proper extension cord (one with 3-prongs)? bulletProducts with 3-prong plugs are designed to lessen the risk of electric shock.


__ Yes __ No __ Obtain the proper grounding type extension cord (one with 3-prongs).