Safe to use box/outlet insulators in 50-yr old home?

My parent's house was built in 1965 - I want to help keep cold air out by putting those foam sheets that go behind the switch plates and plug outlet plates, on the outside walls.
I am concerned that this could be a fire hazard especially with the age of the wiring - are those foam sheets treated with fire retardant? If anyone doesn't know, who would I talk to - a home inspector, electrician, etc? Thanks! Cheryl
q safe to use box outlet insulators in 50 yr old home, electrical
  8 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Sep 16, 2015
    Honestly your best bet is to reach out to an experienced electrician.
  • on Sep 16, 2015
    Hello Cheryl, Good question! This post breaks down insulation types and includes fire retardant details: With that said, and as Janet suggested, you should consult with a licensed electrician who has experience dealing with older electrical systems.
  • Z Z on Sep 16, 2015
    Cheryl, I believe you are talking about these: If so then make sure the brand you buy is UL listed. With their label comes your comfort in the product meeting global safety codes. They've been around since not long after the dawn of electricity in the home and are very much trusted.
  • Jonnie Hammon Jonnie Hammon on Sep 17, 2015
    Any of them would be a help. Or, check out your utility company's weatherization program. They will even come and do for you, at no charge. They do doors, windows, and electrical sockets, etc...
  • Hope Williams Hope Williams on Sep 17, 2015
    Call an electrician and ask advice. Then call the company of the product you wish to use. The manufacturer will tell you their specs for their product. Pretty straight forward information.
  • Jennifer Jennifer on Sep 17, 2015
    Yes those are fine to use and will help a little bit. You may need to add insulation to the attic space above to help even more with keeping the room warmer
    • Duv310660 Duv310660 on Sep 17, 2015
      @Jennifer Yes! Heat rises, so the most bang for your buck in insulation goes under your roof. However, drafty feet are uncomfortable - I always start with my hardware store gal (she's trained in everything) and follow her advice!
  • Renata Renata on Sep 18, 2015
    Jonnie is correct. I had mine come out and they even gave me the covers free, can't beat that! Well I guess u could... if they were to do the ..and my house was built in 1944/ 1953. Insulation is the best thing u can do. U may want to do some checking into ur states programs. Because I am low income ( SSDI) I qualified for a program that went off my equity. '44 houses never had ducts or heating systems so I had a whole new heat pump system put in, new E vinyl windows, new total house insulation, new roof, new tankless hot water heater (LOVE) Never run outta hot water and I had a teen age daughter that took hr showers...who gets that dirty!! , new vinyl siding, I love vinyl siding,,I never have the expense or hard work of having to repaint ! Wash with a hose and beautiful again. My Dad came over one time after I had hosed it down and said.."painted ur house huh?" lol. It is a loan that u do not have to pay back until u die or sale the house. With absolutely no interests. Best thing I ever did! Saved my 100's in utility costs.
  • Bit By Bit Shop Bit By Bit Shop on Sep 30, 2015
    If they have a basement, check where the sill plate meets the foundation wood. Our home had such large gaps the sun shined in! Caulk or fill(spray foam) along there. Also I used silicone caulking on the outside of the house around the windows & the house soffit & fascia. Shocking how much caulk was needed. Lastly use silicone to caulk all around the windows & frames throughout the house. Start with the most used rooms like living room, bedroom & kitchen. My heating & cooling utility bills have dropped significantly! ! If they have a fireplace be sure to block off (at the very least with a heavy blanket over the screen when not in use. Don't forget to weatherstrip the doors & caulk around them as well. Check the windows also for weather striping. The home depot guys can give you advice. Our heating company did an appraisal & gave us samples to use around switch plates, windows & doors. Don't even get me started on attached garages! ! I'm saving a lot of money & am still doing areas little by little. Don't get overwhelmed & just start one window or door at a time. Caulk is very inexpensive which is a great advantage. I hope this helps.