There has been a spate of electrical house fires in the Bracknell / Wokingham area that have originated at the fusebox. As reported in the Bracknell & Wokingham Midweek news recently “Firefighters are warning that old fuseboxes may not be able to cope with modern electrical demands”. A firecrew manager commented “We think the old boards are going up because of the new demands, we think it’s overloading them”
The picture of this old re-wirable fusebox is from a house where the homeowner wondered why his sockets stopped working one Saturday night- a quick trip to the garage to see his old fusebox on FIRE quickly explained why! The electrician who was called out commented that the socket circuit was abused, several alterations had meant that all the heavy power items (washing machine, tumble dryer & dishwasher) were causing too high a demand resulting in the fire. When the electrics were installed in a house even only, say, 15 years it could not be foreseen how much the electricity demand would increase . A house that has had an elderly couple living there will have a totally different electricity demand to the new family moving in with teenagers eg: bedroom TV’s, game consoles, computers,phone chargers. Often in such rooms there may be a single socket with multiple extension leads hanging off them. Likewise the fusebox above had circuits that had been altered by previous owners with no due consideration to what the loading.
The wiring regulations say that we should periodically get the electrics in out house checked on a regular basis to ensure that they are safe for continued use. CPJ Electrics can carry out an inspection service to check out your electrics, details available at http://www.cpjelectrics.co.uk/Pages/HomeInspection.aspx
It might be the case that whilst electrical circuits are working it does not mean they are safe.