There are many communities within Western Wayne County with a long history. Many of these homes were built before 1940. There are many neighborhood communities in Redford, Livonia, or Farmington that contain older homes. The homes resemble each other in their structure as well as their age. When older homes were built, there were different standards. Different materials, regulations, and ultimately homeowners were not under the type of protection that we have today. Fire damage costs can be extreme. But more importantly, it is essential to know the fire risks in older homes to protect your family.
Older Homes Present A High Risk For Fires
Out of Date Wiring Systems
When is the last time you saw what was behind the walls of your older home? Some may say never. Prior to 1940 homes did not have to have grounded wiring. Grounded wiring can prevent short circuits from causing shock or electrocution. Most of the homes built prior to the 60’s used copper wiring. Then, the prices of copper skyrocketed and aluminum wiring started being used. However, most of the switches and outlets were not designed for aluminum wire, therefore creating bad connections or fittings. As updates are done to older homes throughout the years, chances are the entire home is not been rewired and new materials are just being connected and routed with older materials. This can pose a fire risk, once again for poor fittings and utilizing electrical materials that are not designed to be used together.
Fire Hazard of Old Appliances
Some people, especially the elderly enjoy using the same vintage appliances they had many many years ago in the home they have lived in for a lifetime. Or even this generation, as we bring back the vintage décor style, may find cool vintage appliances at a yard sale and want to incorporate them into their kitchen space. Yes, they may look fashionable in your home, but what are the fire safety risks of having vintage appliances? The stove, coffeemaker, or other appliance you found dated back to the ’30s, was made for the ’30s. These items were made for the safety codes during that period. They may contain damaged, brittle, or frayed wiring. If you cannot live without that oven that dates to 1935, your best option is to have it re-wired so that it meets the safety standards of today and reduce your fire risks in older homes.
Once again, the older outlets and switches used in the older homes are not designed to power all the things that we use today. Families nowadays have HD TV’s laptops, cell phones, tablets, video game systems, lamps, etc.. all powered into the same power strip. Older homes, unless updated, do not contain grounded outlets. Many times a two to three-prong converter is used to plug the power strip into the wall, overpowering the outlet. Follow the wiring deeper into the wall and all of that energy is being transferred through material that it was not designed for.
All in all, it is important to understand the fire risk that your older home can pose. You can have the safety of your home inspected to see the potential risks that you may have. Unfortunately for some, it is too late and the fire damage is already done. If you need help with electrical fire restoration in old homes, contact us today. We will make sure everything is restored to code, using the proper materials and configurations.