Expert Electrical

Electrical Hazards in Older Homes

Jul 25, 2013 | Buying a Home, Electrical Safety, Older Homes

Approximately 200 electrical fires occur in B.C. each year with a large portion of these fires found in older homes. As sad as it is, it’s understandable. Homes built before 1970 didn’t have the types of technology we have today – not only to build a more sound electrical system but to sustain the types of products we now use on a daily basis (coffee machines, hairdryers, computers, the list goes on). If you live in an older home or are looking at buying one, be aware of these electrical hazards.

  • Wiring older than 30 years old
  • Under 100 amps of power
  • Not equipped with AFCI’s

Wiring – New cables and methods of wiring have been introduced since the building of your old home. These new cables provided ground protection, higher rated insulation temperatures and are suitable for recessed lighting. This eliminates the need for knobs and tubes, which proved to be a fire hazard overtime.  If your wiring is older than 30 years, it is recommended to have an electrician review the safety of your wiring. If caught early, you may be able to simply modify your wiring rather than rewire your entire home.

Amps – The standard home in 1970 was equipped with 30 amps of power whereas now homes are equipped with anywhere from 100 amps to even 200 amps of power. With the increase in electrical devices used in a home, 100 amps have now become the standard requirements for all new homes. Review your home’s usage and determine whether it is necessary to improve your electrical system.

Arc Faults – When electricity is released unintentionally from a wire or cord the surrounding material can catch fire which is called an Arc Fault. Arc Faults are one of the highest sources of electrical fires. However, by installing an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (ARCI) you can prevent them.

Contact Expert Electric for assistance in determining the safety of your older home and how to prevent the tragedy of an electrical fire. 604-681-8338