Question? Just ask us!
Free Encyclopedia of Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, Repair
InspectAPedia ® Home
ELECTRICAL INSPECTION, DIAGNOSIS, REPAIR
AFCIs ARC FAULT CIRCUIT INTERRUPTERS
ALUMINUM WIRING HAZARDS & REPAIRS
AMPS VOLTS DETERMINATION
AMPERAGE MEASUREMENT METHODS
APPLIANCE EFFICIENCY RATINGS
BOOKSTORE - ELECTRICAL
Cadet & Encore Heater Recall
CIRCUIT BREAKER SIZE for A/C or HEAT PUMP
Classified CIRCUIT BREAKER WARNING
CUTLER HAMMER PANEL FIRE
CORROSION in ELECTRICAL PANELS
DEFINITIONS of ELECTRICAL TERMS
DIRECTORY OF ELECTRICIANS
DMM Digital Multimeter HOW TO USE
ELECTRIC METERS & METER BASES
ELECTRIC MOTOR DIAGNOSTIC GUIDE
ELECTRIC MOTOR OVERLOAD RESET SWITCH
ELECTRIC PANEL AMPACITY
ELECTRIC PANEL INSPECTION
ELECTRIC PANEL MOISTURE
Electric Power Frequency Table
EMF RF FIELD & FREQUENCY DEFINITIONS
ELECTRICAL GROUND SYSTEM INSPECTION
ELECTRICAL SERVICE DROP
ELECTRICAL SERVICE ENTRY WIRING
EMF RF FIELD & FREQUENCY DEFINITIONS
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
LIGHTING, INTERIOR GUIDE
LIGHTNING PROTECTION SYSTEMS
LOW VOLTAGE BUILDING WIRING
LOW VOLTAGE TRANSFORMER TEST
MAIN DISCONNECT AMPACITY
MOISTURE SOURCES in PANELS
MURRAY SIEMENS Recall
PHOTOVOLTAIC POWER SYSTEMS
PUSHMATIC - BULLDOG PANELS
REMOTE ELECTRIC POWER, PHOTOVOLTAIC
RUST in ELECTRICAL PANELS
SAFETY for ELECTRICAL INSPECTORS
SE CABLE SIZES vs AMPS
SIEMENS MURRAY Recall
THERMAL EXPANSION of HOT WATER
THERMAL EXPANSION of MATERIALS
UNDERGROUND SERVICE LATERALS
VOLTS / AMPS MEASUREMENT EQUIP
VOLTAGE MEASUREMENT METHODS
WIND TURBINES & LIGHTNING
ZINSCO SYLVANIA ELECTRICAL PANELS
Safety tips for electrical inspectors: this electrical safety procedures article lists the critical equipment and procedures for the electrical inspector, home inspector, or other professionals who examine residential electrical systems. These electrical inspection safety suggestions are not a complete inventory of all electrical safety procedures.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved.
Electric shocks are responsible for about 1,000 deaths in the United States each year, or about 1% of all accidental deaths.- Refs.
Fatal Shock Hazard Warning: Inspecting electrical components and systems risks death by electrocution as well as serious burns or other injuries to the inspector or to others. Do not attempt these tasks unless you are properly trained and equipped.
Reports of deaths during home inspections: ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors, has reported (to DF) a single death of an inspector while at work. A Canadian home inspector fell from an improperly installed steel ladder "affixed" to a multi-story building. That tragic death which was reported (by NY Metro ASHI News) in 1990.
Inspectors climbing in, on, around buildings should guard against becoming complacent, overconfident, or careless. ASHI Standards of Practice provide that an inspector may refuse to enter, inspect, access any component based on concern for safety. In our photo the inspector is pointing out how easily an inspector might touch live electrical components while also becoming grounded by a gas pipe.
Pay attention, look carefully, move slowly before opening or exploring electrical equipment. Learn to recognize indications of a problem, such as but not limited to the examples in this article.
Do not assume anything when performing dangerous tasks such as inspecting electrical equipment.
Do not touch live wires or connections. Watch your hands and other body parts. Handling live electrical wires without special training and equipment is highly questionable and often fatal.
If in your opinion unsafe conditions exist at a property you are inspecting you should notify all parties concerned, including building occupants/management/owners, realtors involved, and other appropriate authorities.
For example, what if the case above had happened the day after the property described had been examined by an ASHI inspector? Were there perhaps clues which telegraph a developing problem? What about anecdotal reports from the occupants of recurrent breaker tripping, visible signs of overheating in the panel, widespread and unusual use of electric heaters, or evidence of work in the panel by untrained people? These risks to occupants are also a hazard to the inspector on several bases.
Wet skin (standing in water, sweaty) has a resistance of about 1000 ohms. (Dry skin will have a higher resistance, and of course an inspector wearing protective gear such as rubber gloves, rubber-soled shoes, standing on an insulated mat, will have still higher electrical resistance, and safety.)
At this skin resistance, a current of only 0.1 to 0.3 amps at 100 Volts is sufficient to cause potentially fatal ventricular fibrillation. -- Wikipedia September 2008.
Protect yourself and your client from injury using but not limited to the suggestions we provide here and just below.
OPINION-RC: "As a master electrician, here is how I teach opening a service panel in my seminars: "The lucky 7""
Further Safety Warning --DF: these are helpful electrical safety suggestions from an experienced electrician. No list of suggestions is complete and these presume that they are being followed by an experienced, licensed electrician. [Thanks to reader Mike D. for careful editing.]
For example, there are almost certainly gloves and/or boots specifically recommended for this application; there are specific safety details to look at and for before touching an electrical panel, and procedures for using electrical test equipment to test or examine a suspect electrical panel.
Rex Cauldwell's Wiring A House - available online.
Rex Cauldwell's Safe Home Wiring Projects - available online
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
No FAQs have been posted for this page. Try the search box below or CONTACT US by email if you cannot find the answer you need at InspectApedia.
Use the search box below to ask a question or to search the InspectApedia.com website.
Ask a Question or Enter Search Terms in the InspectApedia search box just below.
Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.