If there was ever an element of the home that the world’s quick-fix DIY handymen (AKA most dads and grandfathers) should avoid, it’s wiring. If starting a fire in the house is the aim, then faulty wiring is a sure-fire way
(no pun intended) to attain that outcome.

An integral part of the modern home’s electrical component is the GFCI outlet. These specialized outlets were introduced in the 1970’s to protect wiring in water-prone outdoor spaces, but eventually became a legally-required addition to bathrooms and kitchens. However, many older homes today have yet to be updated with the latest GFCI requirements, leaving residents in danger of electrocution and house fires.

A GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlet has trip and reset buttons for random testing.
Many older homes are not equipped with proper GFCI outlet protection as shown here along this kitchen countertop.

Our team is well-acquainted with the lack of electrical updates in older homes, as was evidenced in a recent inspection of a 1979 ranch in Crown Point, IN. Upon completion of testing all outlets with an outlet/GFCI tester, we found that the kitchen and bathroom outlets both lacked the protection of GFCI outlets. As with any similar scenario, we recommended that the family seek out a licensed electrician to make the updates.

Any outlet located on outside your home should be GFCI protected
Many homeowners install outlets in their garages and fail to install GFCI protection

Even for residents who believe their home is well-protected by GFCI outlets in the bathroom and kitchen, many homeowners don’t know that such outlets are also required by the National Electrical Code (NEC) to be present in crawlspaces, rooftops and wet bars. Even circuses, carnivals, and fairs are required to utilize GFCI’s. All the residential GFCI requirements are listed below, as per Section 210.8 (A&B) from the IRC:

  • Bathroom receptacles
  • Garage receptacles
  • Outdoor receptacles
  • Crawlspace receptacles
  • Unfinished basement receptacles
  • All kitchen counter-top receptacles
  • Laundry areas with sinks
  • Boathouse receptacles

All this attention to detail, though sometimes a pain in the rear, is strictly to ensure the safety of the home and its residents. Though a professional should be sought out for any issues regarding the home’s safety, electrical concerns should especially be addressed by a licensed pro. If you have any worries or concerns regarding your home’s electrical integrity, feel free to give us a call. We’re always happy to help.