Wiring a home can be extremely dangerous if proper precautions are not taken. As electricity became more commonplace in the late 1800s, safety standards had not yet caught up. Homeowners had to learn through trial and error how to wire their homes safely. I uncovered some fascinating tips from this perilous period that can still help prevent you from getting zapped today.

Use Insulated Wiring

Early electrical systems used bare copper wiring with no insulation. This led to countless fires and electrocutions. One of the most important safety innovations was the development of insulated wiring in the late 1800s.

Why Insulated Wiring is Essential

By the 1890s, rubber and cloth insulation enabled much safer electrical installations. Always use wiring that is properly insulated for its application. Don't try to save money with substandard materials. The risks are not worth it.

Fuse Everything

Early electrical systems lacked ways to automatically disconnect power in case of overloads. This led to countless fires. The introduction of fuses in the 1880s was a huge leap forward.

Fusing Best Practices

Fuses minimize risks and make electrical systems much safer. Don't skip them on any circuits.

Isolate Wiring from Plumbing

Early wiring systems made little effort to isolate electrical wires from plumbing pipes. This created shock risks, especially in bathrooms.

Dangers of Shared Channels

By the 1890s, electricians learned to isolate wiring by:

Never run wires through plumbing chases or share infrastructure. The risks of energized plumbing are severe. Isolate all systems.


Wiring a home safely requires care and planning. By leveraging hard-won lessons from the past, we can prevent damaged wiring, fires, and electrocutions today. Insulated wires, properly fused circuits, and isolation from plumbing are crucial. With vigilance and safe practices, you can wire your home successfully without getting zapped!