Around 51,000 home fires and 500 deaths are caused annually due to electrical faults. While all new buildings have to meet certain electrical safety regulations, it is older buildings that pose a great concern. Many buildings that are over twenty years old are not equipped to deal with the present electrical load and pose a high risk of electrical fires.
Electrical safety concerns in older buildings
- Outdated regulations: Buildings that were built in the 70s, 80s, and 90s met a certain standard of electrical safety but, those standards are completely outdated now. Every three years, the National Electric Code (NEC) makes revisions to its safety laws to reflect changes in technologies that make buildings safer.
- Increase in load: Over the past few years, the concentration of buildings using electricity in each area has grown. The electrical consumption in each household has increased with the influx of new gadgets and appliances. The considerable increase in load on the electric supply has also increased the probability of electrical fires in homes with outdated electrical installations. In fact, electrical fires are responsible for $7 Million worth of property damage every year.
- Age: Overtime it is not uncommon for the wiring in buildings to wither and crack, exposing loose wires that are essentially leaking electrical charges that can easily catch fire.
- Home improvements: DIY home improvements over the years could have damaged the electrical installations in a home. Adjustments in electrical sockets, lighting fixtures, or remodeling a room by an unqualified person could damage the integrity of the electrical setup in a house.
- Other problems: A number of other problems have been observed in older homes that give rise to concerns of electrical safety; overloaded circuits get overheated, improper or no earthing for sockets, no residual current devices in bathrooms, etc. All these and more have a high risk of an electrical accident.
What can be done?
Older homes need to be inspected regularly and up to date fire safety regulations need to be put in place. Installation of working smoke detectors and fire alarms, AFCIs, Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs), and Tamper Resistant Receptacles (TRRs), could all help reduce the number of fires caused by electrical faults.
Because of the fast growth in the number of residences in cities and towns over the last few years, there has been an additional load on the electrical supply. Many older homes were not equipped to handle this load and now are at risk of electrical accidents. A proper system when put in place to evaluate these risks and take the necessary measures, will help combat the problem.
Skyrocketing energy bills daunt millions of homeowners these days. No matter how much they skimp on the time they spend running electronics and home appliances, the number never seems to reduce. Instead, it goes beyond the budgeted limit, thus pushing homeowners to switch to cheaper, more energy-efficient options. If you are interested in such devices, perhaps you should read on to know about a few of them:
The biggest energy drain in every home is its heating and cooling systems. But a smart thermostat can perhaps block this energy outflow and push down your utility bills drastically. These devices are so smart that they can store your preferences and process your and your family’s comfort settings for creating a comfortable indoor space. These devices are supported by a mobile app, which allows you to control settings from anywhere, anytime. You are sure to save whopping sums of money every month after installing a smart thermostat.
Smart outlets and plugs
Standard outlets can consume a lot of energy owing to their manual control settings. But smart outlets are a gust of fresh air among the standard ones because they come with a wide range of features. You can operate these outlets using a smart application, which allows you to schedule the on/off times and also increase the efficiency of humidifiers, fans, lamps, water heaters, coffee makers and many more. You should also consider smart plugs, which plug into your existing outlets without requiring a major rewiring project.
Sensor switches are becoming a part of smart home designs owing to their energy efficiency. These switches are equipped with advanced sensors that know you and your family are leaving or entering the room. They do so from several feet away, without you having to turn on or off the lights manually. Some sensor switches also have natural light-detecting capabilities, which save an incredible amount of energy and money. It’s truly a great installation if you still fumble for the light switch after entering a dark room.
Some home appliances and gadgets suck out outrageous amounts of energy. But you can tackle this problem by installing smart surge protectors. It’s very simple to use: connect your device and create a charging station for your mobile device for protecting your expensive appliances against power surges. You can control everything through an app or an automatic scheduler, both of which can hack down your energy consumption and expenses substantially.
High summer temperatures mean high usage of air conditioners. But air conditioners are not only expensive but also harm the environment. But, smart blinds come as a blessing in such a situation. These blinds can open and close themselves automatically after reaching a predetermined temperature. These are simply a great alternative to expensive HVAC systems that suck out energy and money.
Energy-efficiency is something no homeowner can achieve within a day. It takes time. But they have to install energy-efficient, smart devices at home that create a win-win for both homeowners and the environment.