house firesThis year alone there have been three devastating house fires in Sydney that have made national news headlines, one of which resulted in fatalities. In a one-year period, the Fire & Rescue NSW reports over 4,500 house fires. About 40% of these are caused by electrical issues, including damaged wiring. The scary thing is, residents are often unaware their home is at risk until it’s too late.

Damaged Electrical Wiring

Electrical wiring has a lifespan of about 30 years, and some older wiring will break down before that. Additionally, old wiring was not designed to cope with the large amount of electronics and appliances that modern households use: microwaves, TVs, computers, air conditioning, heaters, etc.

The main issue with old, damaged or dodgy wiring is you can’t see it. It’s hidden in your roof and walls – out of sight and out of mind. Watch out for signs such as flickering lights, a faint buzzing sound coming from power points, and appliances switching off due to a power overload.

As a more general rule, if your home is over 30 years old, your wires are at risk of being damaged.

My Personal Experience

As a Sydney electrician, I see many old homes that have never had wiring updated. In fact, we’ve done quite a few inspections recently, and discovered some real horror stories.

I was on the job in a house in Marrickville, installing additional powerpoints and replacing external lights. The client decided that because the house was 60+ years old, that having a full safety inspection was prudent, as previous electricians had not done this.

When we got into the roof we discovered the previous electrician had joined new cabling onto the old cotton cabling and left the joins exposed. This roof cavity was a fire waiting to happen, and we were horrified.

The old cabling should have been replaced. We took photos to show the client and consequently we replaced all old wiring. The clients halted all renovation work until we’d made the place safe.

I’m just thankful we go to them before anything happened.

Take Action to Reduce Risk of House Fires

It only takes three minutes for a fire to become out of control. Here are two steps you can take today to improve the overall fire safety of your home.

  1. Use the resources provided by the NSW Fire & Rescue Service. They offer a fantastic checklist of safety measures, including having a wiring inspection done by a qualified electrician. Take a look at the full checklist. The NSW Fire & Rescue Service also offers a personalised Fire Safety Audit: a short questionnaire that highlights where you and your family can improve the fire safety of your home. Go through the Fire Safety Audit and make suggested changes.
  1. Have a comprehensive wiring inspection done by us. A thorough wiring inspection will include the examination of cabling coming into the house, wiring in the switchboard, the roof cavity, under the floor, smoke alarms and protective devices on the switchboard.

This month we are offering a $50 saving on comprehensive wiring inspections. Your family’s safety is paramount, so please take advantage of this fantastic offer. Visit our Specials Page to learn more, or call us on 1300 191 330. You can also shoot us a quick email, and we’ll get back to you.