Repair, Cook Electric
Written by Larry Cook

Upgrade Your Electrical Panel for Safer Winters

Research studies found that homes with electrical wiring problems are the third leading cause of residential fires in the United States. Numbering more than 50,000 annually, home electrical fires kill more than 500 people, cause about 1,400 injuries, and result in almost $1.5 billion in property damage.

Dangerous home electrical fires are even more common in winter. Consumption of electricity jumps due to holiday lighting, use of space heaters, and the significant increase of electronic devices during and after the holidays. Fortunately, you can reduce the risk of fire at your home by getting a heavy-up or electrical panel upgrade.

Older Homes May Need a Heavy-Up

The average age of homes in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions is more than 50 years. Numerous older homes are still equipped with an outdated fuse box that was installed when the home was built. An outdated fuse box is typically capable of providing only 60 amps, while today’s standard for new houses is 200 amps.

For safely powering modern appliances, electronics, and computers, a circuit breaker box is required to prevent overloading. All insurance companies consider homes using a fuse box to be much less safe, and many won’t provide coverage unless there is an upgrade to an electrical panel that is equipped with circuit breakers.

Interior vs. Exterior Electrical Panels

Current federal regulations require electrical panels to be located outside the home to allow firefighters safe and rapid access in the event of fire. However, many older homes still have their panels installed indoors. If your indoor electrical panel is insufficient for your current electrical needs, consider an upgrade and install the new one outdoors.

Spotting Wiring Issues

The following are symptoms of common wiring issues that must not be ignored:

  • A constant burning odor
  • Flickering or dimming lights
  • Frequent blown fuses or tripping breakers
  • Mild electric tingling or shock felt when touching appliances
  • Power outlets are discolored or sometimes spark

If you spot any of the above issues, call an experienced licensed electrician immediately to request a safety inspection.

Electrical Peace of Mind

Providing professional electricians since 1988 in Maryland, Cook Electric is the company you can rely on for all your electrical service needs. For knowledgeable, fair, honest, reliable, and conscientious service, call Cook Electric today at (410) 266-9040. We will be very glad to help you.