According to NSW Fire & Rescue, there were 17 accidental fire deaths and more than 4,070 house fires in NSW in 2015. While more than half of all Australian house fires start in the kitchen, they can also be caused by damaged or faulty electrical wiring. Getting your house rewired could save your family from the trauma and loss of a house fire, but how do you know when this needs to be done?
Age of your home
If you are living in a home that was built more than 30 years ago, it may still have its original wiring. This older wiring may not be able to handle the load required by your modern appliances and electrical gadgets, causing the wires to heat up. The load from multiple appliances running together, such as hair dryers, washing machines and microwaves, can also cause overheating.
Older wiring may have insulation that is deteriorating or inadequate, leading the surrounding materials to catch on fire after overheating. Home wiring in locations that regularly experience hot climates can be even more likely to degrade as high temperatures can also affect the condition of the wiring’s insulation.
If you suspect that your home’s wiring may be out of date, call a qualified electrician as soon as possible so that they can assess the need to update.
Circuit breaker tripping regularly
Circuit breakers are designed to prevent fires by cutting off the flow of electricity when the circuit overloads. Faulty electrical appliances can cause the circuit breaker to trip, but it can also be caused by faulty wiring. If your circuit breaker is tripping on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to call an electrician to assess the cause.
Hot, charred or discoloured power outlets
Loose electrical connections can cause small fires, leading to charring or discolouration on the front of outlets. The loose connection could be caused by faulty wiring near the switch. If you’ve experienced hot outlets or have found charred electrical sockets around your home, avoid using the socket immediately and seek the advice of an electrician.
If you notice a burning smell in your house that never seems to go away but you can’t find the source, it may be due to an electrical short having taken place in the walls or under the floorboards of your house. If you suspect this could be the case, turn your electricity off at the mains and call an electrician right away. The cause could be something that is easy to fix, or could be a sign that your house needs rewiring.
Don’t touch old wiring
Besides the risk of fire, contact with old wiring can kill. According to Energy Safe Victoria, a man died in 2010 after touching an old split-metal conduit when he was installing an aerial in the roof space of his house. Whether accidental or not, touching electrical wires should be left to licensed professionals.
If you live in an older home or are experiencing any of the issues above, contact the licensed electricians at Delta Electrical and Data. Our services range from power point installation to full rewiring, and you’re guaranteed to be in safe hands.