Aluminum wiring remains a hot topic

MISSISSAUGA (Feb 19, 2016) – Forty per cent of residential fires are electrical in nature and Mississauga residents who live in older homes and homes with aluminum wire pose a higher fire risk.

Birnie CurrentSAFE is on a mission to educate these residents about the life-threatening electrical hazards that lurk behind their walls.

In partnership with the ESA and the Mississauga Fire Department, CurrentSAFE will be hosting a free home safety seminar to educate attendees about the dangers associated with aluminum wire and what they can do to protect their investments.

The event will take place on Tuesday March 22nd at the Garry W. Morden Training Centre.

“We had a full house last year at the Garry Morden Training centre, so we know people are concerned about aluminum wiring in their homes,” said Tim Birnie, President of Birnie CurrentSAFE, a Mississauga-based electrical contractor that has inspected hundreds of Ontario homes for potential electrical hazards.

The seminar, entitled Aluminum Wiring: Debunking the Myths, also features a presentation by Michele Aplin, Public Education officer for Mississauga Fire & Emergency Services. Her presentation includes valuable information to help families prepare fire prevention and escape plans.

Ted Olechna, Director Codes and Standards Support, Chief Engineer for the Electrical Safety Authority, ESA, will be speaking about new arc-fault interrupter technologies that are proven to reduce the risk of fire by more than 70 percent.

The Electrical Safety Authority has issued a number of warnings about potential hazards of aluminum wiring related to overheating and failure of aluminum wiring terminations at outlets, light switches and other termination points.

“Aluminum oxidizes at termination points, and this can lead to failure and the potential for a serious electrical fire without proper maintenance,” added Mr. Birnie.

The first 25 Attendees to pre- register online at ismyhomesafe.ca or call 1-855-569-1818, will receive a free CO alarm.

WHERE: Garry W. Morden Centre, 7535 Ninth Line, Mississauga
WHEN: Tuesday, March 22nd, 7 – 8:30 p.m. / Registration 6:30 p.m.

For further information, please contact:
Angela Hoyos
Marketing Coordinator
905-569-1818 x 229 / ahoyos@birnie.com


Birnie Electric, founded in 1967, is committed to promoting safety at work and at home. Birnie employs a team of skilled service electricians, each with an average of 20 years’ electrical experience. They are fully insured, background security checked and covered under WSIB. In addition to delivering the Birnie CurrentSAFE program to residential customers, Birnie Electric provides design/build, electrical contracting and datacomm services to developers and contractors as well as to commercial and industrial businesses throughout Ontario.

Residential Aluminum Wiring
Background Fact Sheet

  • Aluminum wiring was widely used in new home construction during the 1960s and 1970s as the price of copper skyrocketed.
  • Aluminum wiring also used by home renovators during the same period.
  • The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) states: Reported problems with aluminum wiring have been related to the overheating and failure of aluminum wiring terminations. This is due to aluminum’s tendency to oxidize and its incompatibility with devices designed for use with copper wiring. Warm cover plates or discolouration of switches or receptacles, flickering lights, or the smell of hot plastic insulation may evidence these problems.
  • Many homes contain a dangerous mix of aluminum and copper wiring, creating additional hazards where the two types of wiring are interlinked.
  • Most modern ‘designer’ electrical devices are not compatible with aluminum wiring.
  • The potential hazards of aluminum wiring can be eliminated through inspection and by updating all termination points with one of three accepted remedial measures.

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