One of the many wonderful things about living in the suburban areas outside of Nashville is the beautiful, Historical district of downtown Franklin. Some of the homes built in this area date back to the very early 1900’s. The original, intact features of these exquisitely beautiful homes such as their wrap around porches and 60 year-old hard wood floors make them highly desired. In addition, Franklin is well known for its family friendly square with many local shops and restaurants to choose from. In addition Williamson County has been rating in the nation’s top 10 for its impressive public and private education system. The dainty, historical homes may be the perfect fit for many growing families; however, as with all older homes, it is important to update some aspects to prevent danger for you and your family members.
One common safety hazard in historic homes is the lack of grounded electrical outlets. Prior to 1962 the National Electric Code (NEC) did not require homes to have grounded electrical receptacles. When electrical outlets are not grounded there is a higher risk for electrical shock to you and damage to your appliances. In addition, if you live in an older home you have probably noticed that many of your outlets are only equipped for two prongs. Unfortunately, most updated technology, especially those that require lots of power call for three prongs outlets.
Many people go for the quick fix and just buy the plug adapters for their appliances that enable them to use the two-prong outlets. However, this can be unsafe, as these two-prong outlets are not grounded. Others try to play electrician for the day and update the old outlets themselves. The problem is that when they are replacing the outlets they think it is as easy as taking the old outlet off and putting the new three-prong outlet on. However, most of the time some rewiring is required. Then, there are some that take a different approach and just remove the grounding pin (or bottom prong) from their electronics. This technique may sound the most simple, but in reality is the most dangerous. Removing the grounding pin not only completely prevents grounding, but also disrupts the polarization of the appliance. Don’t do this!
Updating your electrical outlets and wiring to meet current codes is extremely important for your family’s safety. However, individuals should never assume that they could safely perform the task on their own. Always contact a certificated electrician to complete the job efficiently, effectively, and safely.