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Why You Shouldn’t Delay an Electrical Safety Audit on Your Home by a Qualified Electrician
So, you’ve lived in your home for several years, even if it’s been over a decade, and you’ve never had a problem — you’ve certainly never heard of an electrical fire or electrocution by anyone you know.
Other than the lights flickering or dimming when you turn on your vacuum cleaner, you haven’t experienced anything terribly dangerous, have you?
That’s what millions of people think — and they give up on the idea of immediately addressing the danger. They know they should and will find them soon…eventually…as long as they…whatever.
Procrastination is typical of us humans, isn’t it? We will not do anything unless under absolute pressure!
We all know it; delayed action rarely helps any situation. Black mold growing in the bathroom or rotting wood on the deck are obvious signs you must act as soon as possible. A recurring toothache can get worse and eventually overwhelm any procrastination and/or fear of going to the dentist. Howling babies require an immediate and effective response. Ignoring squeaky brakes in your car could lead to disaster if not addressed now.
Of course, what these problems have in common is that you know them. With developmental problems with vision, hearing, touch, smell (it stinks!) or taste, you’ll soon have no choice but to act!
Unfortunately, the hazards of old and outdated electrical wiring, outlets, switches, circuit breakers, panels, etc. show no visible signs of deterioration. They are invisible because they are usually located behind a wall or within the device itself.
Electrical terminology sometimes describes events that lead to electrical faults as “faults” — such as “earth faults” or “arc faults.”
Ground faults are the result of improper grounding of electrical systems. Since electricity always tries to follow the path of least resistance to the ground (literally, the earth beneath our feet), it may find another wire – or family member – as the most convenient for its journey.
This could result in disastrous fire or electric shock.
An arc fault is what you commonly know as a short circuit or spark that occurs in a loose or miswired electrical connection. It’s not hard to imagine how this could lead to a fire.
These dangerous conditions develop as a result of years of deterioration of all the electrical equipment in your home. It’s important to note that these appliances, wiring, fixtures, safety features, and methods of installing them are state-of-the-art when you’re building or renovating your home.
However, with technology advancing at breakneck speed, older services are struggling to keep up with the demands of modern appliances and other electronic devices.
Like plane crashes, our governments learn from them and create new rules and regulations to prevent the disastrous consequences of outdated electrical equipment and practices.
For example, both the Canadian and US governments now require arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) to be installed on bedroom circuits when joint government studies over the past five years have shown that most electrical fires occur in bedrooms.
These little babies would cut power to the bedroom circuit at the same instant the arc was created.
A parallel finding is that most fire-related deaths are not directly caused by the fire, but by inhalation of toxic gases after the victim is unconscious in their sleepThe revelation triggered regulations requiring smoke detectors to be installed immediately outside bedroom doors. They must also be powered by your home’s AC power and have battery backup. Also, they must all be wired together so that if smoke occurs anywhere in the house, they all send out a danger signal.
As a result of implementing these two changes in the code, fatalities from electrical fires have decreased significantly.
Prove that in the results, you should pay attention to these and other norms.
People often make the mistake of thinking a circuit breaker will protect them. Don’t make the same mistake.
First, circuit breakers are designed to protect your circuit not you. The amount of current required to trip or shut down a circuit breaker is at least 1,500 times that of a heart attack.
Second, if they wear out from heat and use over the years, they might not even trip because they’re locked in place!
They too, like anything else in this world, get old and worn out and sooner or later need to be repaired or replaced.
All the appliances in your home will eventually fail – that’s physics!
If they are not fixed and updated, the results could be disastrous.
That’s why electrical defects are silent killers; you can’t spot them until they rear their ugly and potentially deadly heads.
Each year approximately 20 Canadians and 200 Americans die from electrical fires or electrocution.
That doesn’t seem like a huge number, but try telling the victim’s family.
Ignoring such a possibility is like ignoring the only cartridge in a revolver with a thousand cylinders; rotate the cylinder, lift it over your head and pull the trigger.
Sure – the odds of a hammer hitting a bullet are one in a thousand, but why would you take that risk?
You’d change a bald tire on your car to keep your family safe, wouldn’t you?
Of course you would — you wouldn’t take even the smallest risk that those tires would blow or bleed at the wrong time.
The safety of your family also requires your attention to the electrical systems in your home.
If your home is more than 10 years old, an electrical safety audit is a must to know what deficiencies your system has and address them immediately.
Have it inspected by a qualified and experienced master electrician for an accurate assessment.
A skilled electrician may be good enough for the job. However, they are not responsible for knowing government regulations like a master electrician. In order to retain their “master” license, they need to know government electrical codes front and back.
Since these codes are made for your safety and the most effective way to protect your family, it is critical that your electrical service be evaluated by an expert who understands them.
You should be able to find a local senior electrician in your city or town who will perform this audit for free.
If not, it’s still worth spending a small amount of money for this service compared to the price of a new set of tires – right?
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