Fire Hazards and Electrical Systems

Fire departments list electrical problems as one of the major causes of fires in the home.

Typically, such a fire starts with the homeowner replacing the original 15 amp fuses with, for example, a 30 amp fuse, in the mistaken belief that a larger fuse is better because it blows less often. The homeowner now has inadvertently destroyed the very system designed to protect the home.

The danger lies in the overheating of the wire at its weakest link. An example of this can be seen in attaching a new, higher capacity wire to an old tube and knob circuit. If such an installation is over-fused and overloaded, it is possible for the old tube and knob wiring inside the wall or crawl space to overheat and possibly start a fire. The fire can start without blowing the oversized fuse or any other sign of a problem in the new segment of wiring.

An inspector or qualified electrician may be needed to determine whether a home has an electrical system adequate for today's needs.

Article: 
Electrical Systems