How Electrical Safety Inspections Can Prevent Electrical Fires
A fire is one of the most devastating things that any homeowner can go through, and unfortunately, electrical fires are relatively common. According the National Fire Protection Association, 47,700 fires caused by an electrical problem were reported to U.S. fire departments in 2011. Many of these fires lead to injuries or fatalities, and most of them could have prevented, which is why it's so important to have electrical safety inspections performed.
Some common electrical problems that can cause fires include problems with:
- Wiring and related equipment
- Lamps, light fixtures, and light bulbs
- Cords and plugs
- Transformers and power supplies
The best way to keep your home safe from electrical fires to have safety inspections performed regularly. At Advanced Electrical Company, our Birmingham electricians can provide you with thorough inspections and help you keep your home and your electrical system in the safest condition possible.
If you don't know whether or not you need to have an electrical safety inspection performed, look out for these signs:
Time Since Your Last Inspection
Our professional Birmingham electricians recommend that electrical safety inspections are performed:
- at tenant properties, once every 5 years, or at each change of occupancy.
- at owner occupied homes, at least every 10 years.
- at commercial properties, at least every 5 years.
- at properties with a swimming pool, once every year.
Old or Outdated Wiring
About a third of homes in the U.S. have had the same wiring systems for over 50 years—unfortunately, most electrical wiring systems have an average lifespan of about 30-40 years. This means that many homes have outdated wiring, and that can be unsafe. Have an electrical safety inspection performed if you notice:
- Fuses that frequently blow.
- Circuit breakers tripping repeatedly.
- An over-reliance on extension cords and surge protectors.
Extension cords, surge protectors, and switching circuits back on should all be temporary solutions to problems. If they become normal parts of your home life, you should have your electrical system inspected to ensure that it's safe.
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, aluminum wiring was used extensively. However, as it turns out, aluminum oxidizes very quickly, and that oxidation can lead to corrosion. While aluminum wiring is adequate for a short period of time, it has a relatively short lifespan, and once it begins to corrode, your Birmingham home could be very unsafe.
It's possible that your entire home may need new wiring, but most of the time, you'll only need to have it partially re-wired. During an electrical safety inspection, our professionals will be able to let you know whether the aluminum wiring in your home is safe for use.