According to the National Fire Protection Association, electrical fires aﬀect approximately 34,000 homes each year. Older homes built before the 1950s are particularly vulnerable due to less stringent wiring standards and electrical codes.
The wiring systems in older homes were not built to accommodate today’s hefty power requirements, and this often causes serious problems. If you notice any of the following warning signs in your home, you should contact a licensed electrician immediately:
— Repeatedly blown fuses
— Scorched outlets, cords, or switch plates
— Dim or ﬂickering lights
— Outlets or switches that smell burnt or feel hot to the touch
Homes constructed between 1965 and 1973 may also have issues due to the aluminum wiring used during this period. Aluminum wiring degrades and oxidizes more rapidly than copper wiring. Hiring an electrician to evaluate the wiring and mitigate any problem areas is the best way to ensure your family’s safety.
As conduits for electrical currents, an older home’s appliance cords, outlets, and plugs merit extra care and attention. If they become overheated, they can cause a fire. Using these cord care precautions will help keep you home as safe as possible:
— Tuck cords out of the way where they are unlikely to be damaged
— Never place cords under carpeting or bedding
— Make sure cords are kept away from flammable materials
— Throw away any frayed or broken cords
— Avoid overloading outlets with too many plugs
— Make sure plugs fit tightly into outlets to prevent accidental shocks
Older homes with well-maintained electrical systems should be at no greater risk of ﬁre than newer homes. The electrical professionals at JM Mullen recommend that all older homes be periodically evaluated for potential safety concerns. Please visit their website at https://jmmullenelectric.com or contact them at (410) 266-6316.