Many Sydney homeowners may not be aware that aging electrical cables in their home may pose a high risk of electrical fire.
If you have been in the roof of your home and noticed that your electrical circuits are run in old split steel conduits, it is time to contact a licensed electrical contractor.
Many federation homes and art deco homes in Sydney were originally wired in a type of cable called Vulcanised Indian Rubber (VIR) cable. As the name suggests, the insulation on the copper conductors is made of Vulcanised rubber, which deteriorates over time until it simply crumbles away, leaving nothing to insulate the copper wires from one another, or from a person working in the roof.
In fact, Energy Safe Victoria (similar to Workcover NSW) has appealed to the electrical trades to help in raising the awareness of property owners and other trades people to the dangers of electrical metallic split conduits. This follows the death of a man in the ceiling space of a property near Geelong in February 2010.
ESV investigators called to the scene said that the electrical wiring in the ceiling space was best described as "a fatality waiting to happen". There were a number of damaged Vulcanised Indian Rubber (VIR) cables in split conduits and exposed defective connections.
There was no safety switch or RCD installed at this installation. The man's life could have been saved if an RCD Safety Switch had been installed.
The solution is for a licensed electrician to remove all old VIR cable from your home, and install modern PVC sheathed cables with modern circuit breaker and RCD Safety Switch protection at the switchboard.
The process of rewiring your home is relatively quick, and it dramatically reduces the risk of electrical fire, and of electric shock. Rewiring your home may be cheaper than you'd think, and the cost certainly compares favorably against the possible cost of damage caused by an electrical fire.