3 Hidden Dangers in Your Home’s Electrical System

Electrical panel in Hastings, MN homeDid you know home electrical problems account for an estimated 53,600 fires every year? According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, these fires cause more than 500 deaths, 1,400 injuries, and $1.4 billion in property damage.
 
While an electric fire could happen in any home, older homes are more at risk. And over half of the homes in the United States were built prior to 1973 (before the invention of many of the electronics you use every day.)
 
Protect your family from fire and electrocution by making sure your Hastings area home’s electrical system is up to current standards. Here are three fire dangers that may be hidden in your home’s electrical system.

Knob and Tube Wiring 

This type of wiring was used from the 1800’s to the 1930’s in homes. Wires are run through ceramic tubes (or knobs) to prevent contact with wood framing. However, this type of wiring is now considered a fire hazard because it is not a grounded system. If your home has knob and tube wiring, it is highly recommended that you have your home re-wired.

Arc Faults

When any electricity is unintentionally released from home wiring or cords, it is known as an arc fault. Arc faults can be especially dangerous because the electricity released can cause the surrounding material to catch fire.
 
Common causes of arc faults:
  • Pinched wires – From a chair sitting on an extension cord or wires bent sharply
  • Overheated wires or cords – Too many lights or appliances connected to one circuit (your fuse box or circuit breaker should trip)
  • Improper electrical connections – Loose connections in an electrical light switch or outlet
  • Pierced wires – Nails and screws can sometimes pierce wiring hidden behind walls
  • Damaged wires or cords – Caused by rodents, age and heat

No Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters

Any electrical outlets that could come into contact with water should have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) installed. These outlets improve safety by constantly monitoring the flow of electricity in and out of the circuit. 
 
If the returning current differs even a small amount (like from coming in contact with water), the GFCI will shut of the electric current. This helps prevent deadly electric shocks and electrocution. 
 
For maximum safety install GFCIs in bathrooms, the kitchen, laundry room, outside and anywhere else an outlet could come in contact with water.
 
Most electrical home fires could have been prevented. Don’t be a statistic - contact a licensed electrician at O’Connor’s Mister Sparky and discover how you can improve your Hasting area home’s safety.

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