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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Own an Older Home? These Fire Risks May Be Lurking

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

Match House on Fire An inspection of your older home could be a lifesaver if it uncovers unseen fire hazards.

If your house is more than 40 years old, it can harbor some unseen fire risks. If you learn about them ahead of time, you can take action to prevent a fire from starting—and keep your home sweet home safe for many more years to come.

Outdated Wiring

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there are about 46,000 fires involving home electrical systems each year, and the majority of those could be prevented with a routine inspection. The CPSC says that in many cases, homes that were built between 40 and 100 years ago hadn't been inspected since they were built.

Be alert to obvious warning signs of a failing electrical system:

  • flickering or dim lights
  • a shrinking of your television picture
  • frequent power outages
  • sparks
  • unusual sounds like sizzles or burning smells
  • smoke
  • any kind of electrical shock
  • damaged insulation
  • warm or hot outlets or switches
  • reliance on extension cords for everyday use

For Fire Restoration Needs Call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield at 860-216-2785

If you can't remember the last time your electrical system was inspected, hire a certified electrician or electrical inspector to prevent a potential disaster. Even if you've had an inspection less than a decade ago, you should contact a professional immediately if you start to notice the warning signs of a bad electrical system. Hire only a licensed and insured electrician to do electrical work.

Balloon Framing

In newer homes, each floor is individually constructed to ensure that fire stops between them, but in balloon-frame homes, there's nothing to stop a fire from spreading. Commonly used from the late 1800s through about 1940, balloon framing was a construction method in which a continuous wood stud wall stretched all the way from the foundation of a home to the attic. If your home has balloon framing, flames can spread from the floor to the roof in just seconds.

If you aren’t sure what kind of framing your house has, hire a skilled professional to inspect it. If your home was constructed with balloon framing, a major remodel—to open up the walls and ceilings and install solid blocking to act as fire stops—may be your only option. Alternatively, you may be able to install insulation in empty cavities that would slow or prevent the spread of fire.

For Fire Restoration Needs Call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield at 860-216-2785

Source: Liberty Mutual

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