Selecting the correct wires for your house is crucial for safety and efficiency. Our comprehensive guide will walk you through the factors to consider such as wire gauge, insulation type, and voltage rating
If your house was a human body, the wires would be its arteries. If the arteries are not working properly, the entire body, i.e., your house is going to suffer. To ensure the blood flow of your house is smooth, the electric wires in the house should be of good quality. In case of fire, electric wires are going to be one of the deciding factors on the casualty number.
Importance of choosing the right wires in your house
In case of fire breaks out, the wires emit toxic fumes and thick black smoke that reduces visibility and causes panic among residents. It is thus important, especially if buying a new home, to always check if the wiring in your home is of good quality. “Another important thing to keep in mind is the load-taking ability especially if you are staying in an old home or buying a resale apartment. If the wiring is old, it could be difficult to manage the load of all the new modern appliances that the new modern appliances that the home has. Running the geyser, AC, and refrigerator simultaneously could be challenging if the wires are old, “says PS Rahangdale, ex-chief fire officer (MFB) and retired deputy municipal commissioner-disaster management (MCGM).
Shrigopal Kabra, managing director of a leading wire and cable manufacturing company mentions, “Choosing the right wires is important not only for the safety, but also for the longevity of your electrical systems. Using improper wires is dangerous and can potentially lead to fatal injuries. For instance, if you use a wire with a lower ampacity rating than required, it can overheat and cause a fire. That’s why it’s crucial to choose wires that meet the standards set by regulatory bodies such as the Bureau of Indian Standards. A lesser-known fact is that smoke inhalation kills more people than the fire itself during a fire outbreak. It is necessary to address the underlying issue and prevent such fire-related disasters from occurring in the first place. This is only possible if high-quality wire, cable, and electrical fixtures are used, whether for a residential or commercial property.
Which wires should be used for your house?
It is crucial to use good quality wires that can not only handle the load of all the electrical appliances but are also environment-friendly. Sharing details about the right kind of wires, Kabra mentions, “Halogen-free wires are free from chlorine and fluorine, which can release toxic gases in case of a fire. PVC-free wires, on the other hand, are free from polyvinyl chloride, a material that can release harmful chemicals during manufacturing and disposal. These wires are environmentally friendly and can help reduce the carbon footprint. Both, halogen-free (LSOH) and PVC-free wires and available easily in the market.”
Talking about the details of Halogen-free and PVC-free wires offer better performance as they are made with high-quality materials and undergo rigorous testing to ensure superior performance. They also have a longer lifespan than normal wires. PVC-free wires do not contain phthalates, which are known to cause health problems such as respiratory issues and hormonal imbalances.”
Currently, there are no strict laws against the use of poor-quality wires but the domestic cable and wire industry is calling for strict laws to stop the use of such poor-quality products.
Yes, halogen-free wires and PVC-free wires are usually priced higher than normal wires because of their superior quality and safety features. “We understand that cost is an important factor for consumers. However, the initial cost of these wires is offset by their long-term benefits and cost savings. For instance, halogen-free wires are more durable and have a longer lifespan than normal wires, which reduces the need for frequent replacements and repairs. This means lower maintenance costs in the long run. Similarly, PVC-free wires are eco-friendly and do not release harmful chemicals during manufacturing and disposal. This reduces the environmental impact of using such wires and can result in cost savings too while constructing properties,” adds Kabra. Birla Advaya
Rahangdale also asserts, “In my firefighting experience, I have seen multiple fires that happened due to the poor quality of wires. People often forget the value of human life and instead, opt to save a few bucks on cheaper wiring and products.” Birla Trimaya
Thus, one question that you should ask while buying a house is, “Which electric wire have you used?”