Why Wires in Your Crawlspace Are a Fire Hazard

Why Wires in Your Crawlspace Are a Fire Hazard

fire damage

In life, accidents happen to many people across the world in a wide variety of circumstances. Some, such as spilling the milk out of the refrigerator and ruining a new coat, are relatively minor in the scheme of things. Others, like natural disasters or fire damage that destros a home, can be deadly and change the course of a person’s life. While humanity has not figured out yet how to prevent natural disasters, larger accidents such as fires and indoor floods can be prevented with the proper maintenance.

Fires may seem like freak occurrences, but that is simply not the case. In fact, the risk of fires and fire damage is quite significant in today’s society. Statistics tell us that there’s a house fire in the U.S. every 86 seconds. Your first step to avoiding becoming one of them is to simply prepare and guard against the components for fires.

In this brief informative article, we’ll go over how to prevent fire damage in a home. Specifically, one of the easiest ways that fires are started in a modern home is by neglecting areas that have electrical wiring, such as the crawlspace. Having exposed wiring, especially if it is older and prone to sparking or heating up, may put you on the route to fire damage in your home. Nobody wants that, and it’s best to learn how to prevent it at all costs so that you don’t have to consult fire damage restoration services.

The Danger of Old Wiring

Old homes have many positives to them: quality construction, intricate craftsmanship, and sometimes larger plots of land. Many homes were also wired many years ago, when certain safety and wiring insulation standards were not in place. Therefore, the electrical system may be presenting certain hazards today that were not even thought of in years past. The main problem with old wiring is that it was built for older appliances and may not be able to handle the electrical load of the devices we use today. Wiring in old homes also tends to be in places that you don’t think of, such as the crawlspace.

By overloading your electrical wiring, or subjecting it to surges and spikes in current, you are putting yourself and your house in danger of fires started via electrical sparking or excessive heat. Older homes that are made of wood usually have exceptionally dry areas that have aged over many years, even in a somewhat damp climate. This building material is like tinder to an old electrical system. If a fire starts in your crawlspace because of the wiring, you may not know it’s there for days. It can cause major fire damage to your home and necessitate contacting restoration services.

Call the Electrician Before You Call the Fire Department

If your home was built more than 40 years ago, chances are that it was built with components that cannot withstand what modern electrical appliances demand. Not having three-pronged plugs (for grounding) is incredibly dangerous and unstable. Other features, like wiring components built with aluminum, were used in homes from 1965 to 1973 and are now known to be prone to heat overload and dangerous. Knob and tube wiring, popular from the 1880s to 1940s, has little insulation and gives off much heat which is a potential fire hazard.

Degraded insulation, both on wires and in your walls, can also present a large fire hazard to your home. If the wiring overheats too much or comes in contact with dry insulation, it is relatively easy for a fire to start. Once a fire starts in an older home, it is a vicious cycle of ignition that is hard to stop.

Your best case scenario in these situations is to simply call a qualified electrician to give you an electrical overview of your house. By being able to inspect your entire home and assess your living situation, they will be able to recommend whether you should replace all the wiring in the house or stick to certain upgrades and mitigating tools. While this may assess a cost that you don’t care for, it is certainly less than the cost of losing your home and property in a fire. You should think of this as just the “cost of doing business” when it comes to owning an older home. Only you can prevent home fires!

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