You might have been living in your home for the longest time but never run into a problem, but well, are you sure it won’t in the future? You are pretty sure that besides the dimming of light on switching on the oven, its never gotten worse. Forget an electrical fire or the idea of getting electrocuted in the least!
Well, almost everybody would love to believe this than address the hazards immediately. We won’t act on it till we really see it as a potential danger, would we? However, don’t we all know that delaying acting on any situation has rarely ever helped! Rotting wood or that black mold growing on your bathroom counter screams that they require action. You however won’t act on it, till they start to cause harm. However, atleast you know they can cause potential damage once you see them.
Unfortunately, electrical equipment like outdates wiring, switches, outlets, panels or breakers do not exhibit any relevant signs of deterioration. Most of this wearing out is hidden behind the walls. Thus, the events leading up to electric failure are often referred to as ground faults or arc faults in electrical terminology.
Ground faults are a consequence of improper grounding in the electrical system. Electricity tried to reach the earth through the path of least resistance, which can often be another wire or even a family member. This, obviously can lead to disastrous consequences of fire or electrocution.
An arc fault is a short or a spark in an incorrectly wired electrical connection and it may lead to an electric fire.
These conditions arise as a result of wear and tear over years and hence it is necessary to check the installation of your electric wires and devices at regular intervals. Old services too are straining to perform to the requirement of modern day devices and appliances.
The government too has learnt from these accidents making it mandatory to install arc fault circuit interrupters in bedroom circuits after a study showed that most accidents happen in the bedroom.
Moreover, after a study revealed that more people die of poisonous fumes than the actual fire itself, there was a regulation that smoke detectors need to be installed immediately outside the bedroom doors and must be powered by the AC current with battery backup. Moreover, they must be wired together so that they notify of danger when there is smoke present anywhere in the house. This helped curb electrical fire deaths dramatically.
You should never make the mistake of believing that the circuit breaker would prevent you. They are designed to protect the circuit. The current required to shut that breaker is exponentially more than what will give you a heart attack. Moreover, if worn out over the years, they may get locks and won’t trip at all. Thus electrical defects are often referred to as silent killers that are hardly detected before they turn fatal.
If your home is older than 10 years, it is essential that you get an electrical safety audit performed to detect what defects your system and get it repaired immediately. A qualified and experienced electrician must do this for accurate assessment. You must look for a master licensed electrician for he would best know the government electrical codes developed for your safety. Infact, there is a good chance that the electrician will perform the audit for free, and even if he doesn’t, a little amount can save you your life!