Photograph of overheating aluminum-wired electrical outletAluminum Electrical Wiring Advice for Renters and Tenants

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Here we provide immediate safety advice for occupants of rented apartments, homes, or condominiums where solid conductor aluminum electrical wiring has been installed.

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Aluminum Wiring Advice for Renters and Tenants

  1. See if you have aluminum wiring (solid conductor branch circuit) installed in your home. Aluminum wiring identification tips are provided at ALUMINUM WIRING, HOW TO RECOGNIZE.
  2. Look for signs of aluminum wiring failure, such as flickering lights, odors of burning plastic at switches or receptacles, outlets or switches that are warm to the touch, charred or sparking receptacles or switches, but be aware that overheating may have occurred or be occurring without an easy to spot sign in the occupied space; See U.S. CPSC Aluminum Wiring - CPSC Publication #516 for other trouble signs.
  3. Turn off the circuit(s) involved in these signs of trouble and call a licensed electrician who is familiar with aluminum wiring hazards and proper repair methods.
  4. Notify building management orally and also in writing if these concerns are found. This page contains a clear summary of the concern: Aluminum Wiring Summary Page for Public Use. Also see Aluminum Wiring Safety.
  5. Aluminum wire failures and fire hazards may be subtle; overheating may occur not just where something is plugged in or at a switch, but at other connections or outlets on the circuit.
  6. Improper "repairs" may actually make conditions more dangerous - repairs must absolutely be proper and must use one of the CPSC recommended methods. See ALUMINUM WIRING REPAIR METHODS for proper repair methods for aluminum wiring, and see ALUMINUM WIRING REPAIR NOT-Recommended for examples of improper repair methods.
  7. Don't panic, but it is reasonable for a property owner to fix the Aluminum wiring promptly, correctly, and completely. Also see DIRECTORY OF ELECTRICIANS - Aluminum Wiring.
  8. The immediate safety step to take is to Install smoke detectors at locations recommended by your local building officials or fire department. Sample smoke detector locations are also provided on instructions that come with the smoke detector.
  9. In the event of smoke or a fire from any cause whatsoever, exit the building, notifying others to do so as well, and call the fire department from outside the building.


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