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ELECTRICAL INSPECTION, DIAGNOSIS, REPAIR
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BUILDING SAFETY HAZARDS GUIDE
Cadet & Encore Heater Recall
CIRCUIT BREAKER FAILURE
CIRCUIT BREAKER SIZE for A/C or HEAT PUMP
Classified CIRCUIT BREAKER WARNING
CORROSION in ELECTRICAL PANELS
CORROSION & MOISTURE SOURCES in PANELS
CUTLER HAMMER PANEL FIRE
DEFINITIONS of ELECTRICAL TERMS
DIRECTORY OF ELECTRICIANS
DMM Digital Multimeter HOW TO USE
ELECTRIC METERS & METER BASES
ELECTRIC MOTOR DIAGNOSTIC GUIDE
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ELECTRIC PANEL AMPACITY
ELECTRIC PANEL INSPECTION
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ENERGY SAVINGS in buildings
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FIRE SAFETY Checklist, CPSC
GFCI PROTECTION,Testing GFCIs AFCIs
HEATING COST FUEL & BTU Cost Table
HEAT TAPE USAGE GUIDE
Hertz - Definitions of KHz MHz GHz THz
KNOB & TUBE WIRING
LIGHTING, EXTERIOR GUIDE
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LIGHTNING PROTECTION SYSTEMS
LOW VOLTAGE BUILDING WIRING
LOW VOLTAGE TRANSFORMER TEST
MAIN ELECTRICAL DISCONNECT
MAIN DISCONNECT AMPACITY
MOISTURE SOURCES in PANELS
MURRAY SIEMENS Recall
PHOTOVOLTAIC POWER SYSTEMS
PUSHMATIC - BULLDOG PANELS
RUST in ELECTRICAL PANELS
SAFETY for ELECTRICAL INSPECTORS
Shock Risk Statistics
OUTDOOR ELECTRICAL INSPECTION SAFETY
Electric Meter & Service Entry
Local Electrical Grounding
ELECTRICAL PANEL INSPECTION SAFETY
REMOVE ELECTRICAL PANEL COVERS
ELECTRICAL PANEL COVER SCREWS
ELECTRICAL PANEL INTERIOR HAZARDS
TEST MAIN BREAKERS & FUSES
Inspect Breakers, Fuses, Circuits
Testing Receptacles GFCIs AFCIs
When to Shut Down Equipment
Touching Electrical Equipment
Guide to Electrical Test Equipment
DMMs VOMs SAFE USE OF
VOLTS / AMPS MEASUREMENT EQUIP
ELECTRICAL INSPECTOR SAFETY PROCEDURES
ELECTRICAL INSPECTION CLIENT SAFETY
SE CABLE SIZES vs AMPS
UNDERGROUND SERVICE LATERALS
VOLTS / AMPS MEASUREMENT EQUIP
VOLTAGE MEASUREMENT METHODS
WIND ENERGY SYSTEMS
WIND TURBINES & LIGHTNING
ZINSCO SYLVANIA ELECTRICAL PANELS
This article discusses suggests safety procedures to reduce the chances of injury to or from a client during an electrical inspection.
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In our photograph at page top a young client shows unsafe electrical wiring - lamp cord that has been run through the building wall cavity. Would we permit him to handle this wiring? Did we let him get too close to make this photograph?
ASHI Home Inspector Educational Seminar Proceedings: ASHI-NE Chapter Annual conference
These electrical inspection suggestions are not a complete inventory of all electrical safety procedures nor of all electrical components that should be inspected; these notes focus on identification of conditions that may present special electrical hazards for the electrical inspector. Contact Us by email to suggest changes, corrections, and additions to this material.
Earlier we discussed this topic in detail and offered some strategies in positioning the inspector and client, making sure only one person handles the electrical panel, and other measures. See A HREF="/electric/Electric_Panel_Inspection_Safety.htm">ELECTRICAL PANEL INSPECTION SAFETY for these details.
Since the Standards of Practice for home inspectors (such as those published by ASHI, NAHI, CREIA, and CAHI) require home inspectors to open electric panels, a task not performed in many states during some other types of inspections, we and our clients face additional risks.
In a much less serious incident, the author had the personal experience of having a client ask "What's that?" as he reached over our shoulder to stick his finger right into an open fuse socket.
Among many reports of fires and accidents whose origin was suspected to be electrical, are reported deaths of a number of electricians and electrical workers - people working in some of the same high-risk areas examined by inspectors.
Recommending action on an unsafe condition can convert a pre-existing problem into an immediate catastrophe if the client or owner calls an untrained person to the property or if he attempts a do-it-yourself repair.
Often a referral to local fire inspector, electrical inspector, or utility company can help assure that repairs are prompt, proper, and safe. If you recommend immediate action for an unsafe condition, where possible you should provide some means for the client or building owner to assure that the action which is taken is proper and safe.
Inspectors are properly nervous and reluctant to prescribe the actual repair that is needed at a property - they may not know the detailed repair procedure, or there may be alternative repairs, or their description may prompt an un-trained person to try to do the work.
The Building Owner or Building Manager Needs to Know About Unsafe Conditions that Need Immediate Action
The inspector should inform the appropriate parties both orally and in writing any suspected unsafe conditions.
If an area or component could not be fully inspected, the inspector should explain in writing why she or he did not enter or examine an area or component, and what additional inspections or steps should be taken, as well as the general risks that may be present.
If in the inspector's judgment equipment is an immediate threat to life and property, such as a boiler whose flue connection has fallen off, we recommend that dangerous equipment be shut down and the appropriate people notified. See Shutting Down Unsafe Equipment. In some cases "appropriate people" includes not only the client and building owner, but also building occupants.
In some instances such as sparking electrical panels, gas leaks, or evidence of a fire, the inspector and everyone else should leave the building immediately and from outside, call the fire department and as appropriate, the gas company, police, or rescue personnel.
Original text - Daniel Friedman, as ASHI Technical Journal Staff, January 1992,updates February 2006, September 2008. This is the full text version.
A powerpoint presentation version of this class is also available. Readers of this article should also see these other building inspection safety articles: Safety for Building Inspectors.
Continue reading at ELECTRICAL INSPECTOR SAFETY PROCEDURES for important basic safety procedures, clothing, and equipment for home inspectors and electrical inspectors.
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