As fast as house and housing construction develops, old homes still make up a large proportion of homes out there. Over the past century, the way electrical wiring systems are built and installed in homes has changed drastically. One of the dangers of owning an old home is that they are more prone to fire due to electrical accidents from old electrical wiring. Here are some signs that can tell if your home’s wiring is flammable.
Knob & piping
While they were no longer used today, knobs and pipes were a big hit in the late 1800s until the 1940s. This type of wire uses white ceramic knobs that hold the wires in place and ceramic tubes that protect the wires. There are several problems with knobs & pipes that make it especially dangerous to have at home. Issues such as lack of ground wires, use of rubber that tends to degrade over time and the need to avoid contact with insulation. Most insurance companies do not even insure homes that use this type of wiring due to the high risks of fires. Companies that do this will charge very high premiums because of it.
“Many houses built between the 1960s and 1970s use aluminum wires,” says Robert Wilson, an electrical contractor from Entrepreneur advisor. “One of the problems with aluminum cables is that over time it breaks down and comes loose so that the wires are exposed. Unfortunately, this exposed wire can easily overheat which can lead to electrical fires. To make matters worse, many insurances do not cover your home if there is some type of aluminum cable in it, says Wilson. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), homes that use aluminum wiring are 55 times more likely to have wiring connections that meet fire risk conditions compared to homes that use copper wiring.
Insulation has deteriorated
As with most things in your home, things will get worse over time. A sign that your home’s wiring is a potential fire hazard is that the insulation has deteriorated or been damaged. Wire insulation can be damaged by things like improper installation, rodents chewing on it and overheating, which leads to the wires being exposed. Exposed wiring is a huge fire hazard that should be fixed as soon as possible.
Cables with low amplifier
If you live in a really old home and use the latest electronics, you can potentially create a fire hazard. This situation can cause congestion when you draw more electricity than the circuit can handle which can start fires. According to Andrew James, a fire and water damage contractor from Restoration IndianapolisRestorationPros, “Obsolete wiring is one of the most common causes of electrical fires that we see in our jobs. Often, homes with very old electrical wiring are not prepared for handling electronics such as air conditioners, televisions, and computers that draw a lot of amplifiers. ”
Light control / flashing light
One of the most common causes of flashing or dimming lights is due to damaged wires. Other times fog lights are also caused by damaged switches. If the wiring was changed earlier, it is possible that it was done incorrectly, which led to incorrect wiring. Having damaged / incorrect wiring is a fire risk and should be seen and fixed by an electrician. According to David Richardson from PropertyManagemently, “Flickering lights are one of the most common questions tenants complain about because they point to outdated wiring that can pose a fire hazard. So if you are planning to rent out your home or live in it, you want to seriously consider updating your electrical system to prevent flickering lights. ”
Consequences of ignoring fire hazards
“Electric fires are a big issue for all homeowners because they can cause unpredictable damage to the property and its occupants. If renting a home that is leading in the home is a known fire risk, you can open yourself up to lawsuits and expensive legal penalties. If you live in a home where the wiring is a known fire risk, your insurance may deny you coverage for electrical fire damage, says David.
While the cost of updating a home management system is certainly not cheap with an average cost between $ 7,000 and $ 10,000, it is worth the peace of mind. Paying for expensive home insurance, worrying about lawsuits and high risks of fires is not something that any homeowner should have to deal with in the long run. The long-term benefits of having an updated electrical wiring system in your home outweigh the initial investment costs.