Electrical installations in Charente housing on the red line: “As soon as we leave Angoulême, anomalies and old installations multiply”

Electrical installations in Charente housing on the red line: “As soon as we leave Angoulême, anomalies and old installations multiply”
Electrical installations in Charente housing on the red line: “As soon as we leave Angoulême, anomalies and old installations multiply”

“Today, when housing is not decent, the main problems are either ventilation or electrical installations,” lists Benjamin Delhal, at GIP Charente Solidarités, who fights against substandard housing in the department and carries out decency checks at the request of tenants and supports renovations.

In 2023, the GIP carried out 351 decency checks (268 in 2022). 80% of the housing inspected is substandard. Out of 279 housing units, 93 have minor malfunctions, 116 housing units require complete intervention on a single type of work. Generally for problems related to electrical installation.

1. Charente is not spared

Julien Gaudillière, technical manager at Diagplus, based in Gond-Pontouvre, travels across the Charente to diagnose. “As soon as we leave Angoulême, in more secluded places, old installations multiply. In the Angoumois city, this is a little less the case. People do the minimum to protect them. »

There are also implementation problems, you cannot improvise as an electrician.

Same observation for Stéphane Bioujou, diagnostician at BC2E, in Soyaux. “It all depends above all on the year the accommodation was built. We regularly notice the total absence of land, for example. Rural areas remain the most affected. I saw old farmhouses where security was not guaranteed at all, it was complete nonsense. Homes have also remained in their original condition for 100 years… And inevitably, the regulations have evolved. » Lucette Dubois, who represents the national housing confederation in Charente, relates these problems to Cognac. “In the city of Breuil, I saw totally primitive installations, switches from another time, dangerous sockets. But it must be recognized that landlords have become increasingly vigilant in recent years. » According to the departmental housing information association (ADIL), “households are much more concerned about mold or humidity than about an electrical fault or dangling wires. And then it remains much more visible and uncomfortable. But no less dangerous…”

2. What electrical anomalies?

Faulty grounding and installation, outdated electrical equipment, risk of direct contact with live elements… The list goes on. “90% of the time, we notice temporary electrical installations, wires lying around and which are still in their condition fifteen years later,” notes Stéphane Bioujou. “The numerous outbreaks of fires are mainly due to aging electrical panels, which overheat. It is also the accumulation of multiple sockets, and excessive connections of devices to these sockets. It can quickly become dangerous,” adds Julien Gaudillère. “There are also implementation issues. After the diagnosis, there is necessarily a cost to renovate your installation. We always refer to professionals… Being an electrician cannot be improvised,” warns Stéphane Bioujou. Benjamin Delhal, at GIP Charente Solidarités, reassures. “These are often minor anomalies, which can be resolved quickly. It is easier to find an electrician than a roofer. Lucette Dubois makes another observation. “On houses that are already poorly insulated, households add additional heaters, sometimes several. When the installation is already failing, we can expect the worst.”


Everything is scrutinized, like here, the electrical outlets.

Renaud Joubert

3. The importance of diagnostics

It makes it possible to assess the risks that could affect the safety of occupants. It reports on the operation and conformity of the electrical equipment. “We start from the electrical panel, at the circuit breaker” explains Julien Gaudillère. Grounding, household appliances, switches… Everything is scrutinized. “There is also the risk of electrocution. We make sure that the sockets are earthed. But also adequate protections, such as 30 milliamps, which compensate for certain anomalies and avoid juice surges. » The test costs between 100 and 140€, payable by the owner. And has a validity period of three years for homes for sale and six years for rentals.

How to avoid the risk of electrical fire?

First of all: check your electrical outlets, which are often in poor condition or misused. Sockets that are broken, loose or incorrectly mounted must be repaired immediately by an electrician. Next, do not overload a power strip, which is very likely to cause a fire. Avoid plugging an extension cord into the mains if it does not power any device. It is also very advisable to check the condition of your electrical appliances, paying particular attention to the wires if they are bare or damaged, or give off a suspicious odor. Finally, a very simple gesture: regularly dust all the installations.

Checking the conformity of your installation, an obligation

During a sale, the electrical diagnosis is obligatory for all homes where the electrical installation is more than 15 years old. It concerns individual houses, apartments and even outbuildings. This diagnosis is a legal requirement which aims to inform the future purchaser of the state of the electrical installation. The same goes for rental. The lessor must undertake to bring the property up to standard, if necessary, before renting the property. In the event of a lack of diagnosis or a hidden defect, the seller may be held legally responsible (compensation, reduction in the sale price, or even cancellation of the transaction).

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