Three tips for electrical safety in an older home

With the demand for housing at an all-time high, developers love “cookie cutter” homes because they’re quick and easy to build. But many homeowners still prefer to live in an older neighborhoods. There’s nothing like the craftsmanship, charm, and curb appeal that comes from a more traditional home, and like the old saying goes, they really don’t build them like they used to. Unfortunately, older homes weren’t subjected to the rigorous standards that must now be followed for new construction, and you can’t afford to assume that previous homeowners have made all of the necessary upgrades.

Our team at Gary Houston Electric has been Arkansas’ top residential electrician since 1978, and we’re always a phone call away when you have questions about electrical safety. The good news is that in most cases, upgrading an older home to meet current safety standards is typically a quick and inexpensive process, and we’re here to make sure that you have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your family is safe. Here are a few easy ways to get started:

Have your wiring inspected-Electrical wiring should be inspected by an electrical contractor at least every 25 years. Older wiring used cloth or paper insulation, which is an obvious fire hazard. Rubber and plastic insulation is safer, but can crack or deteriorate over time and lose its effectiveness.

Make sure that all outlets are grounded-If your home still has two-prong electrical outlets, they should be replaced right away. The good news is that grounded outlets are very inexpensive. Be sure to also install ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets in your kitchen, bathrooms, and outside (anywhere where there’s water).

Avoid overloading electrical circuits-Older homes might not be able to handle as much amperage as newer homes, which is typically only a problem if too many electrical devices are plugged into the same outlet, typically with a power strip. If you experience a frequently tripped breakers, it may be time to make some upgrades.

If you have any questions about electrical safety, or want to schedule a service appointment, contact us online, or at 501-375-8330.