Electrical faults and failures account for hundreds and thousands of cases of home fires every year. The unfortunate flare-ups result in huge financial loss but, in extreme cases, also claim lives and create severe mental trauma among those who survive. Electrical fires show a peculiar pattern; the threat is more for homes that were built prior 1950s. Now you may wonder why? The reason has a logical explanation, back in those days before 1950s electrical wiring standards were not followed so strictly as it is done today. As the rules were not so stringent, the buildings built in those eras have lapsed and are not electrically foolproof.
But on the other hand, modern homes built in recent times are at risk when it comes to an electrical fires. As electric consumption was much limited earlier, older homes were built to handle up to 30 amps. In newly constructed homes, that capacity has been raised between 100 and 200 amps. This exerts considerable stress on a residential building’s overall electrical and wiring system.
The best way to prevent electrical fire is to read the warning signs correctly as soon as those start showing. You have to understand the common causes, and only then can you take the necessary steps to prevent an electrical fire in your home. According to one of the best electricians in Islington, the factors that are found most common behind electrical fire incidents are the following:
- Faulty wiring
- Overloaded circuits (and even extension cords)
- Defective switches, plugs, and electric outlets
- Misuse and poor maintenance
Warning Signs Of Electrical Systems And Wiring
If you timely recognize the warning signs preventing an electrical fire is easy. As soon as you come across such indicators, contact a licensed electrician immediately and get the problem thoroughly diagnosed and repaired.
Some of the telltale signs include the following:
- Dimming or flickering lights
- Repeatedly blown fuses
- Repeated tripping of circuit breakers
- Switches or outlets are hot to touch
- Switches or outlets given out an acrid smell
- Discolored cords, switch plates, or outlets
Make Sure Your Home Wiring System Is Free From Hazards
As a responsible homeowner, you must be acquainted with a licensed electrician nearby. The tradesman can come in any time easily to take care of any emergency crisis that may arise.
Follow the tips below to make your home electrically safe.
- Every electrical modification in your home must meet the existing norms and codes.
- Routinely inspect switches and outlets; repair the faulty ones promptly
- While purchasing a property, get it inspected by a licensed electrician before taking over possession
- Outright replace all outdated as well as malfunctioning circuit breakers and fuses
If the building you live in was built between 1965 and 1973, it is better to have aluminum wiring thoroughly inspected. This is because electrical components like switches, cable connections, wall sockets, and others installed during that time are mostly faulty. This is because aluminum wires oxidize and wear out faster compared to their copper counterparts. Therefore, thorough rewiring may not be possible for those buildings. In that case, however, you may consider including those copper connector pigtails to minimize the danger level.
DIY Is Not Thoroughly Safe
Unlike a severed wire, an electric current can move through a punctured wire, but it generates an incredible amount of heat in the process. This is leaking electricity and technically is called Arc fault. The heat generated in the arc fault is likely to start a fire. Any fire, however small it is, always has the potential to be devastating. So while renovating a home with a DIY mindset, take care so as no wire gets damaged while hammering or drilling into the walls.
Modern technology enables you to prevent an arc fault from starting a fire. For that, you need to install an arc fault circuit interrupter in the circuit breaker. The moment this arc fault circuit interrupter detects the irregular flow of current, it simply shuts the circuit down. As a result, there is no combustion or overheating to start a fire.
Another way around, you can use a stud finder to locate framing studs behind drywall to prevent arc faults. If you can nail only on studs, you do not hit or damage the wiring concealed inside a wall. Stud finders are pretty reasonable in cost and suit every budget.
Electrical fires are usually difficult to arrest because they spread unbelievingly fast. However, a local electrician in Islington assures it is highly possible to reduce the chances of such fires, provided one is a little cautious and alert. Follow the tips discussed above to make your home safe from electrical hazards. For more information, feel free to contact us.