Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Causes for electrical fires and tips for prevention

The Times of India reports that most of the fire happening in India causes through electrical fires and it result into both property loss as well as human loss. Property loss can be recovered through the insurance coverage, however the human loss in irreplaceable. The world over, the figure can go higher and the loss is huge.  At our home as well as in the offices, we need to have enough preventive and safety measures to stop this. For a facility or administration manager and the safety manager, this is an important task. Let’s have a look into this.

1.       Common causes of electrical fire:
Following factors causes electrical fires
1.1. Increased usage of electrical appliancesDue to the change in the weather and more usage of electrical components, usage of electricity increases. The old electrical wiring and the overall systems are not capable enough to handle the load.

1.2. Old and malfunctioning appliancesPeople often do not check the old appliances. They are sometime faulty and lead to short circuit and fires.

1.3. Change in the original pattern of the appliances: Some appliances come with 3 pins so they can handle the additional electricity required. People, for their convenience remove the extra pin. This leads to the instrument malfunctioning and causing fires.

1.4. Non adhering to standardsUsing a non-recommended appliances, devices, electrical equipments also lead to the electrical fires. Such equipments are substandard in quality, do not meet to the required safety norms. Using a high electricity consuming device than the recommended are also responsible for electrical fires. 

1.5. Poor handling of equipmentsSometime, people uses the electrical appliances carelessly and do not adopt enough preventive measures, including keeping away the materials causing fire from the equipments like a heater, keeping a cloth or paper, near a high wattage electrical bulbs, not setting timers or usually longer timers for the equipments resulting into over heating of the equipments.

1.6. Lack of safety measures: The wiring, switches, electrical panels and boards are often old and needed to be replaced after a certain amount of time.  Due to no replacements, they lead to the fire. Few homes may not have auto cut off or MCB to cut down the electrical supply in case of overheating or overload which lead to electrical fires in the offices and home.

2.       Tips for preventing electrical fires
We can prevent electrical fire through few simple steps and proper planning. Few of the measures are determining the exact amount of power need and always have provision for future requirements, adopting proper safety measures, using quality and appropriate appliances, avoiding any kind of changes in the original make and specification of the requirements. Few of them are as follows:

2.1 Determining exact electricity need: Always plan with your future need of the electricity. You may need x amount of electricity today, but in the future, you may need more electricity for the additional equipments you are going to buy due to innovation, your life style adoption, an increase in the number of family members. Even if you take higher supply, you are going to pay only for the amount of electricity you use. You should consider those factors and add additional 10 percentage of your overall electricity need. This will prevent in the heating of the electricity cables, switches and also keep your equipments safe.

2.2  Regularly change your wiring and switches: Please check your electrical wires and switches regularly. Take a help of expert electrician and audit firm. The cost of this audit is nominal and compared to the loss you are going to suffer, it is worth to spend. If you have an office or a factory, it is very necessary for you to do so. Every appliance and electrical wires have a specific life and need to replace them accordingly. This constitutes a major reason for causing  an electrical fire.

2.3 Avoid using multiple extension boardsEvery electrical switches and wirings are designed to take a specific load and it cannot take more for a longer time. Avoid using extension, multiple devices in a specific electrical plug.

2.4 Make provision of separate wall plug for heavy appliances : Air Conditioners, refrigerators, microwave oven, hand dryers, dishwashers are heavy electricity consuming appliances. Please make a separate wall socket for each of these appliances and use them only. Using them with the other plug may lead to heating of the electrical wires and causing major electrical fires.

2.5 Must have circuit breakers : Always use appropriate capacity and a good, branded MCBs. Whenever the overall electricity consumption increases, it automatically gets tripped. Please do not use higher capacity MCB, otherwise it will not be able to recognize in a proper way. Again, always take the advice of a good electricity audit firm who has expertise in this field.

2.6 Fire sprinkler and Fire alarm system: Always have a fire alarm system and water sprinkler specially in the commercial unit and factories. This is especially helpful when you are not around. If your city has provision to connect it to local fire station, please do it.

 I hope you lovely readers will like my this article. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi I'm Diploma in Production Engineering with over 15 yr experience want to do BTech production by Dr Bhabhasaheb Ambedkar technology by lateral entry. Is it valid ot UGC approved? Want to do to add qualifications to my Cv is the reason of doung it but to be recognised as further when I do Mtech from other universities they should recognise this. Also will be paying from institute .will this be ok how will I know they will issues certificate by university?


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