Own an Older Home? These Fire Risks May Be Lurking
If your house is more than 40 years old, it can harbor some unseen fire risks. If you learn about them ahead of time, you can take action to prevent a fire from starting—and keep your home sweet home safe for many more years to come.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission(CPSC), there are about 46,000 fires involving home electrical systems each year, and the majority of those could be prevented with a routine inspection. The CPSC says that in many cases, homes that were built between 40 and 100 years ago hadn't been inspected since they were built.
Be alert to obvious warning signs of a failing electrical system:
- flickering or dim lights
- a shrinking of your television picture
- frequent power outages
- unusual sounds like sizzles or burning smells
- any kind of electrical shock
- damaged insulation
- warm or hot outlets or switches
- reliance on extension cords for everyday use
If you can't remember the last time your electrical system was inspected, hire a certified electrician or electrical inspector to prevent a potential disaster. Even if you've had an inspection less than a decade ago, you should contact a professional immediately if you start to notice the warning signs of a bad electrical system. Hire only a licensed and insured electrician to do electrical work.