Old fuse boxes pose high risk of fire in residential homes

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Over the weekend in Enon there were two house fires that happened on the same block, only minutes apart. Firefighters believe the causes can be traced to faulty fuse boxes.

2 NEWS learned this issue is all too common across the Miami Valley.

One fire chief told 2 NEWS that 90% of their household fires are related to faulty wiring or outdated electrical units.

Chuck Terry, an electrician says people always want the newest items, but people don’t always think about updating their home’s wiring.

“A lot of times if something was built 60’s, 70’s, 80’s its been updated. If you have lived there sense 60’s, 70’s or 80’s you are going to want to have someone come in and look at it,” said Chuck Terry, the co-owner of ElectriCity in Kettering.

Rob Alexander works with Terry and says fuse boxes are becoming outdated and unsafe.

“Older technology when they used fuse panels, they didn’t have the electronics and the typical equipment that a normal house would have these days,” said Alexander.

Both Alexander and Terry say if you see Federal Pacific breakers in your fuse box. You should call an electrician immediately.

“Red handles are a dead give-a-way,” said Alexander.

Federal Pacific Electrical Panels are no longer made.

Years ago in a class action law suit in New Jersey, the courts ruled that the company failed to properly test their equipment.

Millions of homes across the country had these boxes installed between 50’s and 80’s.

“Typically home owners insurance won’t cover those because they are fire hazards,” said Alexander.

Both electricians and firefighters agree, the cost to replace fuse boxes and old wiring far out weighs losing your home.

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