Electrical Hazards

According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, faulty home electrical systems cause 53,000 fires each year in the U.S., leading to more than 500 deaths, 1,400 injuries and $1.4 billion in property damage.

Another study, by the Fire Protection Research Foundation, reported that older homes – the dominant housing stock in St. Louis – are most susceptible to fires spawned by outdated and/or improperly installed electrical infrastructure.

The Electrical Connection wants to prevent you and your family from becoming a statistic. That’s why we’re sharing the most common installation errors, short-cuts and hazards we’re called to correct. After you view them, we urge you to take a look at the electrical system in your home – particularly if a handyman or a self-described “contractor” has worked on it – and that work has never been professionally inspected.

Electrician installing ceiling fan

Check outlets.

Do all electrical outlets installed close to a water source (think bathroom, kitchen, laundry area) have a ground fault circuit interrupter?



Extension Cord

Check active electrical extension cords.

While extension cords are not designed for extended use, do those in use have all three prongs – specifically the one that grounds the current to prevent overloading – plugged in?


Electrician checking service panel

Check your service panel.

Is the panel firmly attached? Are all wires neatly enclosed within its protective box? Are there signs of corrosion or other physical deterioration?



Wire Runs

Check wire runs.

Are wire runs in protective conduit? Are exposed wires found close to water pipes? Are wire connections capped with wire nuts?



Electrician checking light fixture

Check light fixture mounts.

Are lights mounted with fixtures that fulfill National Electric Code standards?



If your self-check uncovers a dangerous condition, call in a true professional –a contractor affiliated with the Electrical Connection, a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local One and the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association. Electrical Connection electricians are Missouri’s best, with 1,000 hours of classroom training and five years of supervised on-the-job training. 

Considering what is at stake, what is peace of mind worth to you?

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