5 Ways Your Old Wiring May be a Commercial Fire Hazard

 In Electrician, Residential

If you have a business housed in a historic building, or a building that was constructed even recently, there’s a good chance you don’t really think about the electrical or wiring in place. After all, it is hidden from sight behind plaster and drywall. This may be one of the reasons there are so many fires in older structures – the aging electrical system.

Getting to know some of the signs of an old electrical system is the best way to reduce the potential of a problem. Learn more here.

Knob and Tube Wiring

Many older buildings use what is called “knob and tube” wiring. While this itself is not the issue, the problem arises when it is altered, buried in insulation, or compromised in some other way. At this point, it could become a cause of electrical fires, according to information from insurance companies.

Oversized Breakers

Another significant risk factor for electrical fires is wiring that is rated for lower amps and used in conjunction with too large of a breaker. This can result in circuit overloading, which may also cause electrical fires. Replacing the breaker(s) with a correctly sized breaker(s) is a solution to the problem.

Wiring that has been Poorly Modified

In buildings that are older, it isn’t uncommon for the wiring to have been altered in some way over the years. In many cases, this is done by individuals who have no electrical training. This may mean there are loose or connections that have been badly executed, in addition to other issues lurking behind the walls.

Wires with Old Insulation

As years pass, insulation can be chewed up by animals, damaged by nails or screws being used in the walls or just become brittle or began to disintegrate due to age. This will leave the wire in your building exposed, which can increase the risk of danger.

Faulty Breakers

The wiring isn’t the only fire risk in buildings that are older. If the commercial panel has not been upgraded recently, then it is possible that the breakers and switches that make up the circuits may actually be faulty, as well. If they aren’t working properly, then the electrical system may malfunction and a pose a safety threat.

The fact is, you don’t have to have a building that is extremely old to have an electrical system that is in need of repair. If you aren’t sure about the state of your wiring, then it is best to contact a professional for help in evaluating your electrical system.


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