Installing smoke alarmsTesting smoke alarmsInterconnected smoke alarms increase safetyIn a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) survey of households with any fires, including fires in which the fire department was not called, interconnected smoke alarms were more likely to operate and alert occupants to a fire. People may know about a fire without hearing a smoke alarm.
1 Michael A. Greene and Craig Andres. 2004-2005 National Sample Survey of Unreported Residential Fires. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, July 2009.
Top 5 Electrical Repair Problems in Older Residences
1. Damaged WiringWiring eventually deteriorates from years of use. Unlike copper, aluminum wiring expands and shrinks in response to hot and cold temperatures. It also oxidizes and corrodes, causing it to overheat and potentially start a fire. Old or improperly installed wiring creates numerous problems in addition to fires, including sparking and hot outlets, so get yours inspected and replaced.
2. Dead OutletsDead outlets are sometimes due to tripped circuit breakers; however, resetting the breaker may not be enough. If your outlets are still dead, you are looking at loose or burned-out connections. Burned-out outlets typically feature black scorch marks. Call your local electrician to repair the outlets, especially since your older home may feature more than one electrical panel. Shutting down the wrong outlet’s panel may result in shocks.
3. Flickering LightsA loose or defective bulb will cause a light to flicker and dim, but the problem may be more serious. Old, weakened electrical connections cause this electrical repair issue and increase the risk of fire. If your home features aluminum and copper wiring held together with the wrong connectors, they will corrode and cause flickering problems. Unless a loose or defective bulb is the cause, contact your electrician immediately to identify the issue.
4. Tripped Circuit BreakersFrequent circuit breaker tripping means your home’s power boards are overloaded. Request electrical services to ensure your home’s wiring is capable of handling daily fixture and appliance use. Your electrician will also provide tips for preventing circuit overloads, such as unplugging devices not in use.
5. Frequent Bulb BurnoutsIf the bulbs in your home burn out quickly, it may be due to excessively high wattage. It could also be because of faulty wiring, such as bad circuit wiring.
An estimated two million homes and mobile homes have been constructed using aluminum wiring since 1965. This means that there are two million homes that need to have a watchful eye for potential disaster due to the dangers associated with aluminum wiring. This kind of wire, though cheaper than the copper alternative, is connected with a number of house fires due to its ability to overheat easily.