Why And How Old Wiring Can Be A Fire Risk
If your house is old and has old electrical wiring installations and fixtures, then you should know that you have a higher risk of electrical fire than homes with newer electrical installations. Here are some of the reasons your risk of electrical fire is high:
All materials undergo everyday wear and tear, which leads to deterioration after some time. This includes the materials used in the electrical installations and wiring in your house. The switches, insulators, connections, and breakers all age and deteriorate. The deterioration may not be severe to begin with, but it will definitely endanger your house after several decades. For example, degraded insulation may expose hot wires that may cause electrical short circuits of fire.
Decades of Tinkering
Many people don't call professional electricians every single time they have an electrical problem in the house. Minor problems may be ignored or subjected to DIY repairs. In some cases, homeowners also engage in DIY electrical modifications or installations. Even if you are not the one doing this, it's possible that the previous owner or owners engaged in these habits. The accumulation of the inevitable little mistakes that come with such tinkering may lead to a disaster after some decades.
Low Power Limits
People tend to accumulate more and more electrical appliances every year. The average person today consumes more electricity than their parents or grandparents did. Unfortunately, your old house may have been constructed with the electrical needs of its age, which means you are probably overloading it today. Electrical circuit overload is a real risk of electrical fire or damage.
Lack of Modern Safety Features
Electricians, researchers, and scientists are coming up with new electrical safety inventions every day. That is why electrical safety codes keep on changing. For example, GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) circuits are required in more areas today as compared to when the requirements were first instituted.
No Ground Wiring
Lastly, some extremely old electrical wiring only has two wires – the neutral and the hot; they lack the ground wire. This is dangerous because the ground wire is needed to protect you and your electrical appliances. In case there is a voltage leak in the system, the ground wire directs the leaking electricity safely to the ground and out of harm's way.
Therefore, it's a good idea to get an electrical contractor to inspect your electrical wiring and determine how dangerous it is. The contractor will also issue recommendations on the necessary renovations needed to make your home safe.