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Potential Electrical Dangers in Older Homes

Each year in America home electrical problems lead to more than 53,000 fires and cause more than 500 deaths and $1.4 billion in property damage. Older homes, as charming as they are, are often plagued with electrical problems that, if left unaddressed, can cause unsafe living conditions and even result in a fire. Be on the lookout for these electrical dangers common in older homes and contact a residential electrical services company in Annapolis to update your home’s electrical system before a tragedy occurs.

Damaged Electrical Appliances

Older homes typically have older electrical appliances, and older electrical appliances are more likely to have frayed or damaged cords. It might not seem like a big deal, but frayed appliance cords can cause an arc fault that releases electricity and causes surrounding material to catch fire. If you have an old refrigerator or electric stove to match your home’s retro look, check the electrical card and call an electrician if it looks damaged.

Outdated Electric Panel

Old, outdated electric panels aren’t just found on homes that were built pre-1950. In fact, some homes that are just a decade old have outdated breakers. The last couple of years have seen a huge increase in the prevalence of high-voltage appliances and consumer electronics inside the home. Unfortunately, old breakers weren’t designed to handle these huge power loads. As a result, it’s not uncommon for old panels to overload and spark when electrical demands in the home surge. A residential electrical contractor in Annapolis can inspect your home’s electric panel and recommend a replacement to meet your household’s power needs.

Old Electrical Outlets

It’s not so much the fact that old electrical outlets are inherently dangerous themselves as it is the fact that new outlets are so much safer, specifically Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs). These special outlets have saved countless lives and prevented many more injuries over the last three years. GFCIs are designed to trip before a deadly electrical shock can occur. In fact, some studies suggest that if GFCIs were installed in older homes, 70 percent of the approximately 400 electrocutions that occur each year in the U.S. could be prevented.