Is Your Electrical System a Fire Hazard?


How old is your home or business building? 20 years? 30 years? 40 years or more? When was the last time you had your wiring inspected? If your building is older than 25 years, you could be at risk for an electrical fire. Electrical fires are frequently caused by old components wearing out and failing, but these things can be hard to detect since so much of it is hidden from sight behind your drywall. So how do you know if you are at risk? Here are a few factors that frequently cause fires in older buildings.

Knob-and-Tube Wiring

From the 1880s until the mid-1930s, knob-and-tube wiring was the standard in running electricity lines through homes and businesses. Today, these systems are not permitted under business code except in extremely rare circumstances. If your home or business has this old system of wiring in it, odds are you should consult an electrician about replacing it with a modern system as soon as possible. Rodents have a thing for chewing on these exposed wires, making them tremendous fire hazards.

Low-Amp Wiring

Modern appliances and equipment sometimes require a much higher amperage draw to function than old wires are rated to carry. When you overload a wire with too much amperage, it can get extremely hot, which can start fires inside your walls. If your electrical system is old, consider having it inspected by a professional who can tell you whether or not you should upgrade to wire rated for a higher amperage.

Poor Wiring Modifications

Part of being a home or property owner is improving your property. Those who have a knack for handiwork (or at least think they do) may have tried to modify their wiring in the past. This means there could be shoddy connections, loose live wires, and other serious fire hazards hidden behind your walls. Be extremely careful when cutting into drywall in an older home.

Aged or Worn Insulation

Over time, insulation on wires can age, become brittle, and crack. In other cases, the wires may have been chewed by rodents or screwed or nailed into by accident. This can leave the core of your wire exposed, which leaves it prone to sparking and potential fires.

Aging or Faulty Breakers

The wires aren’t the only part of your home that’s at risk for starting a fire; old breakers can malfunction and overload if they are not maintained or upgraded every few decades. Have your old circuit breaker inspected by a professional who can test to make sure everything is still functioning properly, as well as replace any breakers that may not be working correctly.

Poor Design

Today’s electrical code is far more advanced and rigorous than it was in decades’ past. With new technology has come new safety standards. However, older buildings were not required to adhere to these new standards, and many of them have not been properly retrofitted with the latest in electrical tech. Odds are, if you have an older building, your electrical system would not pass inspection today. Let a professional take a look and work with you to eliminate the fire hazards and protect your property from a devastating fire.

At Lightning Bug Electric, we offer experienced and friendly electrical service from highly-trained technicians. Our expert Marietta electricians have been in business for more than 25 years to help Georgia residents keep their electrical system running flawless. Our exceptional quality workmanship and customer satisfaction have earned us an A+ Rating from the Better Business Bureau®, one of the highest honors possible for an electrician. 

For fast, affordable electrical services, call Lightning Bug Electric today at (404) 471-3847! Schedule a service for your home or business now.
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