Joe Tedesco

03:05AM | 06/14/03
Member Since: 07/27/02
140 lifetime posts
For Immediate Release Contact: Michael Clendenin
March 6, 2003 Executive Director
(703) 841-3296


(Arlington, Va.)–Owners of older homes may have a much more alarming problem than peeling paint and loose floorboards lurking behind their walls. According to the latest statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), electrical distribution was the largest cause of property damage wreaking $643.2 million in property damage in home structure fires, and the third leading cause of home structure fires, causing 40,400 fires, the second leading cause of death (329) and third leading cause of home fire injuries (1,357) between 1994 and 1998, the latest data available.

According to the latest statistics from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), household wiring also tied with small appliances as the leading cause of accidental electrocutions associate with consumer products. For this reason, the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is urging homeowners to have their homes electrically inspected, particularly if they fall into one of the following categories:

Owner of a home 40 or more years old;
Owner of a home 10 or more years old that has had major renovation, addition or major new appliance; or
New owner of a previously owned home.
"If your home has dim or flickering lights, loose receptacles, circuit breakers that frequently trip or fuses that frequently pop, hot or discolored outlets and light switch cover plates, or damaged wire insulation, your home may well be a fire waiting to happen," warned ESFI Executive Director Michael G. Clendenin. "That is your home's way of telling you that you have a problem."

ESFI also urges homeowners to know if their homes have aluminum wiring, and if so, to monitor it more closely. Because aluminum wire oxidizes more rapidly than copper wire, it presents a greater potential fire hazard; oxidation increases resistance and heat buildup along the circuit. Since aluminum wire expands and contracts at a greater rate than copper wire, there is also a greater likelihood that gaps could develop at connections, potentially leading to hazardous arcs and glowing connections.

Even in younger homes, new homeowners should take an active role in understanding the condition of the current electrical system, its capacity, limitations, and potential hazards. ESFI encourages homeowners to seek the assistance of an electrical inspector or a qualified, licensed electrician to inspect the home's circuitry and ensure the home's circuits are not overloaded and the home's electrical service can adequately supply the demand. Homeowners are also encouraged to develop a detailed map of the circuitry showing which outlets and fixtures are served by which circuits and how much power is being demanded of each.

Clendenin says that electrical inspections can catch problems hidden behind the walls and correct them before they turn tragic. In many cases, technologies such as ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) and newer arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) can be installed to help prevent a fire and accidental electrocution. The bottom line is: Inspect and Protect - call a qualified, licensed electrician to schedule an electrical inspection.

For additional electrical safety information, visit the Foundation's web site at or call 703-841-3229.

Founded in 1994, ESFI, formerly the National Electrical Safety Foundation, is North America's only non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to promoting electrical safety in the home, school and workplace. A registered 501(c)(3) funded by leading electrical manufacturers, internationally recognized testing laboratories, electrical unions and associations, utilities and consumer groups and individuals, ESFI sponsors National Electrical Safety Month each May, and engages in public education campaigns and proactive media relations to help reduce property damage, injury and death due to electrical accidents.



Post a reply as Anonymous

Photo must be in JPG, GIF or PNG format and less than 5MB.


type the code from the image


Post_new_button or Login_button

Even if you turn off your electronics whenever you're not using them, they continue to use energy until you unplug them. S... Filling an underutilized area beneath the stairs is a smart way to save space. Doing so with a stash of wood, however, is ... For some decorative recycling, consider burying old bottles upside down to create edging for your garden beds and walkways... Chocolate-colored walls and large window frames allow the exposed wood beams to take center stage in this small screened p... If you're not crazy about the idea of commingling plants and pool, this modern variation may be more to your liking. The s... Yes, a freestanding garage can become its own tiny house. Artist Michelle de la Vega has all the comforts of a modern resi... There’s nothing like a new set of cabinet hardware to refresh a room. The possibilities are endless: Go modern, rustic, or... Filling an underutilized area beneath the stairs is a smart way to save space. Doing so with a stash of wood, however, is ... Like no other floor type, a checkerboard design works wonders to underscore the retro kitchen theme. Vinyl flooring, ceram... Twine lanterns add pops of crafty—but sophisticated—flair to any outdoor setting. Wrap glue-soaked twine around a balloon ... When securely fastened to a tree or the ceiling of a porch, a pallet and some cushioning make the ideal place to lounge. V... Incorporate nature into your lighting scheme by securing a dead tree in a concrete mold and draping your pendant lamp from... For the cost of a can of exterior paint , you can totally transform your porch. Paint the floor a hue that complements yo... In this urban apartment, a standard-issue patio became a serene and green perch by replacing the typical concrete with gro... If you put the washing machine in the mudroom, you can stop the kids from walking through the house in dirty, grass-staine...
Newsletter_icon Google_plus Facebook Twitter Pinterest Youtube Rss_icon