Whether you’re cooking dinner, browsing the web, or blow drying your hair, you rely on electricity more than you probably realize. Since we depend so heavily on appliances and outlets, of course we want to make sure they are functioning reliably. Most of us would also like the peace of mind of knowing whether our home is at risk for an electrical fire.
Would your home pass an electrical safety inspection? If your home has any of the following defects, it may not:
- Old knob and tube wiring
- Broken or missing carbon monoxide detectors or smoke alarms
- New lights installed onto old wiring
- Overcrowded wires
- Non-IC-rated recessed lights that touch attic insulation
- Illegally spliced wires
A code-compliant bathroom meets the following requirements:
- The combination fan/light/heater has its own 20-amp circuit.
- All outlets are ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI).
- Light fixtures in the shower or tub area are moisture resistant and covered with a lens.
Electricity demand is high in the kitchen. Code requirements demand the following:
- Each motorized appliance has its own circuit, including the microwave, dishwasher, refrigerator, and garbage disposal.
- The electric range, cooktop, or oven has its own dedicated 240-volt circuit.
- A minimum of two receptacle circuits are installed above the countertop.
For your laundry room to be code compliant, it must meet these requirements:
- The washer and dryer are plugged into their own 20-amp receptacle.
- The electric dryer has its own 240-volt circuit.
Living, Dining & Bedrooms
While these rooms don’t usually feature large appliances, certain electrical codes still apply:
- Each room has a wall switch installed beside the entry door. This switch may control a ceiling light, sconce light, or outlet where a desk or standing lamp is plugged in.
- Ceiling fixtures are controlled by a wall switch, not a pull chain.
- Outlets are installed no further than 12 feet apart.
Hallways & Staircases
Even the halls and stairs in your home have specific electrical codes, largely because they serve as escape routes in the event of a fire, inclement weather, and another emergency. Here are the codes you must meet:
- Lights are located frequently enough along the hallway or staircase to prevent casting a shadow.
- Hallways longer than 10 feet feature an outlet for general purposes.
- Three-way switches are located at the top and bottom of each staircase and both ends of every hallway.
- If a staircase or corridor turns, additional lighting illuminates the area.
The attached garage is an extension of your home and must meet these code requirements to pass an electrical safety inspection:
- At least one wall switch controls the lighting, which is in addition to the garage door opener light.
- Three-way switches are installed at the side door and the door leading out to the garage.
- At least one GFCI outlet is installed in the garage on its own circuit to accommodate power tools.
Concerned about any of these things? Whether you have a home or business, FAB Electric is your source for reliable service. To schedule service, call 1-888-FAB-Elec or 301-622-6979, or submit the form on our Contact Us page.