It’s sad to think of all those families that could have had an electrical inspection that would inform the homeowner of dangerous electrical problems in their homes.
Older homes pose the greatest threat for electrical problems because the wiring or panel boxes need updating. It’s estimated that half the homes in the U.S. were built before the drip-type coffee maker or automatic garage door opener. Just these two items are examples of the many appliances and gadgets we use today that weren’t even available when a lot of our homes were built.
Homes of today are built with extensive wiring configurations that can support the numerous things we have that need power or charging, such as iphones, laptops, tablets, PC’s, numerous small appliances for the kitchen and bathrooms, vacuum systems, pool pumps, fountain pumps, outdoor kitchens, and more.
When a home has an older wiring system in place, it’s utilized past the maximum when we go ahead and treat it as if it could handle providing all that power. This is the most stress your home can have put on it when it comes to electrical services.
Many electrical safety issues such as electrical fires and electrocutions can be avoided by using more up to date technology (such as GFCI outlets) and by recognizing the warning signs your home may be trying to show you.
Since our dependence on power is increasing, it only makes sense to update the electrical system to handle those needs. If ignored, we’re risking too much that can never be replaced. Take a look at some technologies that can assist you in making your home safer:
GFCI’s – These are special outlets that have saved people thousands of times from shocks and burns.
AFCI’s – These are circuit breakers that can now recognize potential fire hazards and will immediately shut off the power to the line.
TRO’s – These are also new outlets that are designed to protect small children from inserting objects into the outlet.
The TRO’s are a great outlet to have installed in your older home whether you have children or not. At some point in time, you’re likely to have children visiting whether they are family or with friends. A TRO is a Tamper Resistant Outlet that can save a child’s life.
Tamper resistant outlets can easily be retrofit for older homes. In fact, the installation is identical to standard receptacles. These can replace the standard outlets in your home for as little as a couple of dollars per outlet. Wouldn’t spending $50 for the TRO’s be worth it to save a child’s life?
Avoidance is always the best option when you can make it happen. Here are a few things you can do around the house to ensure your have more electrical safety in the home…
- Use the right sized light bulb for the fixture or appliance so you’re not putting too much heat near objects that can catch fire.
- Make sure cords are out of the way of walking areas and never attach extension cords together.
- Check for damaged wires, cut wires, broken wires, or loose wiring.
- Listen for cracking, sizzling, buzzing, and watch for sparks or pops.
- And last but not least, always call a professional electrician to work on any electrical system in your home!
Too many homeowners find themselves in trouble when trying to work with their electrical systems themselves. Of all the many things you can do to make your home safer, counting on a professional is the most important choice you can make.