06 Aug Why Old Wiring Could Be a Health Hazard
When you buy a new commercial or residential property, it’s always wise to get a comprehensive and unflinching report of the health of the electrical systems. Though it may seem like a minor issue at first, old and outmoded wiring can be a serious hazard to the health of the property and that of those that live and work within it.
But why, exactly, is that the case? After all, the technology behind wiring can’t have changed that much over the years, can it?
The answer is yes, and the bad news is that old wiring can often lead to fires within your building. For those operating commercial premises, that can be a total disaster on a number of levels, so how can do you know your wiring is up to date?
The first step to understanding the health of your wiring is to think about the age of your building. Older premises are much more likely to have old, outmoded wiring within them. More modern buildings, like those constructed in the 1980s and later, are unlikely to need a complete rewiring, although you shouldn’t rule it out.
Many buildings wired up before 1984 didn’t utilise earth cables, and often used aluminium wire rather than the much safer and less flammable copper wire. Astonishingly, aluminium wire is over 55 times more likely to cause a fire than copper due to the extremely high operating temperatures it outputs in usage.
When attempting to determine the age of your wires, look out for the following:
- Round pin plugs still in usage
- An old consumer unit
- Cables coated in black rubber, lead or fabric (phased out in the ‘60s)
- A fuse box with a wooden back, cast iron switches or a mixture of fuse boxes
- Metal conduit running to the sockets or lights
- Wall mounted light switches in the bathrooms
If the wiring in your property is showing any of these issues, the time is right to call a professional and qualified electrician to pass their eye over the state of your wiring. Leaving it to chance is not only a violation of a number of regulations, but a grave risk to take for the health of your staff and yourself.