1.) Inspect Your Outlets
Start by inspecting each of your outlets around your home. Look for cracked face plates or damage to the outlet itself. Any signs of scorching or cracks in the plastic indicate you need to replace both. An electrician should replace any outlets that have signs of scorching to determine what caused the issue.
2.) Inspect Wires
Next, inspect the wires of the appliances around your home. Be especially mindful of minor cables like those for your phone, tablets, or other handheld electronics. It is important to keep an eye on these since they are easily damaged.
Despite its small size, even small wires can pose a danger when exposed due to damaged insulation. It is better to replace damaged wires, not just tape them. This will help prevent incidental harm to anyone in your home or arcing that could lead to a fire. Make sure that the insulation on power tools and electric lawn mowers is not broken or frayed as well.
3.) Check Power Strips, Surge Protectors, & Outlets
While you’re checking your outlets, take a few minutes to check your surge protectors as well. Most surge protectors are good for around three to five years. To replace power strips and surge protectors that feel hot to the touch, touch them with a damp cloth.
4.) Inspect & Clean Electrical Appliances
To prevent excessive electrical resistance and to keep them working effectively, most electrical appliances require periodic cleaning. You should deep clean your dryer and get rid of lint that didn’t come up in your lint trap. Make sure your stove’s exhaust hood is clean of grease and grime. Give any electric heaters you used throughout the winter a thorough cleaning before storing them for the season.
5.) Check for & test GFCI Outlets
Make sure you install GFCI outlets wherever there is excessive moisture. This includes all outlets outside as well as those in your bathrooms, kitchens, and utility rooms. In the event that water is present near the outlet, the outlets will immediately terminate electric flow if they sense unusual electrical flow.
6.) Check your Breaker Board
Finally, check your breaker board. It may be necessary to have an electrician clean this if you have not done so for several years. Cobwebs can build up behind the breaker panel cover, which can cause issues if left long enough.
Also, hold the back of your hand over each breaker, and see if any feel warm to the touch. If they do, this could indicate an overloaded circuit, and you may need to upgrade your panel and your home’s circuit layout.