Electricity & Fire Safety

 

The months with the most electrical fires are December and January due to increased use of heating appliances and lights.
Heating due to winter and lights due to the festive season.

Most electrical fires start in the bedroom, but the highest number of fatalities occur with fires located in the living room and kitchen

Today’s news almost as an omen informs us about the fire in Chembur, Mumbai started due to the electrical decorations on a Christmas tree.

Some electrical fires happen because of problems in house wiring or appliance failure, but many occur due to mistakes that homeowners make like overloading electrical outlets or extension cords.

We should be aware of fire and life safety and note  the common causes of electrical fires. Here are the 5 most common causes of electrical fires.

1. Faulty outlets, appliances

Most electrical fires are caused by faulty electrical outlets and old, outdated appliances.
Other fires are started by faults in appliance cords, receptacles and switches. Never
use an appliance with a worn or frayed cord which can send heat onto
combustible surfaces like floors, curtains, and rugs that can start a fire.
Running cords under rugs or over false ceiling /paneling is another cause of electrical
fires. Removing the grounding plug from a cord so it can be used in a two-prong
electrical outlet can also cause a fire. The reason appliances have the extra prong is so
they can be only used in outlets that can handle the extra amount of electricity that
these appliances draw.
2. Light fixtures
Light fixtures, lamps and light bulbs are another common reason for electrical fires.
Installing a bulb with a wattage that is too high for the lamps and light fixtures is a
leading cause of electrical fires. Always check the maximum recommended bulb
wattage on any lighting fixture or lamp and never go over the recommended amount.
Another cause of fire is placing materials like cloth or paper over a lampshade.

The material heats up and ignites, causing a fire. Faulty lamps and light fixtures
also frequently result in fires.

3. Extension cords
Misuse of extension cords is another electrical fire cause. Appliances should be plugged
directly into outlet and not plugged into an extension cord for any length of time. Only
use extension cords as a temporary measure. If you do not have the appropriate
type of outlets for your appliances, hire an electrician to install new ones.
4. Space heaters
Because these types of heaters are portable, many times people put them too close to
combustible surfaces such as curtains, beds, clothing, chairs, couches and rugs. Coil
space heaters are especially dangerous in this regard because the coils become
so hot they will almost instantaneously ignite any nearby flammable surface.
If you do use space heaters, use the radiator-type that diffuse heat over the entire
surface of the appliance. These are less likely to ignite flammable items, but should still
be kept at a distance from curtains ,beds ,sofas.
5. Wiring
Outdated wiring often causes electrical fires.
If a home is over 20 years old, it may not have the wiring capacity to handle the
increased amounts of electrical appliances in today’s average home, such as
computers, wide-screen televisions, video and gaming players, microwaves and
air conditioners. The circuits get overloaded causing the system to overload and
start an electrical fire.
.Periodically Wiring should be checked and updated as per load of appliances added to
the home.
Through such articles, we aim to educate a non-fire service audience about fire
prevention and life safety

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