Tips to Prevent Electrical Fires
Wire-Man Electric Wants You to Know
Sadly, electrical distribution systems are the third leading cause of home structure fires.
Home electrical fires account for an estimated 51,000 fires each year, nearly 500 deaths, more than 1,400 injuries, and $1.3 billion in property damage.
Electrical distribution equipment is responsible for nearly half of all home structure electrical fires. Anything from wiring, outlets, switches, lamps, lightbulbs, cords, and plugs. And as dangerous as they are, they are preventable.
Ways to Prevent Residential Electrical Fires
Learn what to look for. Here are a few things to be aware of to prevent electrical fires in your home.
- Surge Protectors: Power surges can overload your outlets and cause an appliance to spark. If your appliance is plugged into a surge protector, your appliance is protected.
- Faulty Appliances: Some appliances can blow a fuse, trip a circuit, or spark while being used. Unplug this appliance and see if it needs to be repaired or replaced.
- Flammable Materials: Keep rugs, blankets, cleaning supplies and other flammable materials away from outlets at all times.
- Overload: Each outlet can only receive so much electricity. Too much can cause the outlet to spark and start fires.
- Wiring Checkups: If your home is more than 10 years old, it is a good idea to have the wiring checked. Wiring doesn’t last forever. A frayed wire can ignite a fire.
- Old Wires: An old wire can get frayed, worn out or tattered. It is a good idea to replace damaged wiring.
- Old Plugs: Plugs can also get broken, overheat, cause a shock, or even spark, starting a fire.
The Risk of Commercial or Industrial Electrical Fires
Spark ignition sources are prevalent in many commercial and industrial facilities. Add to that some businesses are dealing with flammable gases that can be easily ignited with an electrical spark. Vapours that may be confined ca be ignited by faulty control mechanisms. It is important to use non-sparking motors in equipment that involve or produce vapours and gases.
- Protect people from hazards caused by electricity including proper insulation, various electrical protective devices, or various grounding or guarding devices.
- There are several ways to stay safe from the risk of electrical fires and electrical injury at the workplace.
- It is most important to remember that if someone is in contact with an electric shock, you should never touch the equipment, source, cord or individual. Disconnect the power source.
- The same is true if the equipment comes in contact with water or other liquid chemicals. The power must be shut off at the source.
- Condensation in cold rooms should also be avoided if possible. If necessary, there are ways to secure the equipment vertically.
- If you can use one hand to work, keep the other one away from conductivity. This will prevent the current from crossing your body through your chest.
- When working on equipment, make sure your hands are dry, wear non-conductive gloves and shoes with insulated soles.
- Stay away from loaded circuits.
- Make sure that sources of electricity and exposed circuits are guarded.
- During maintenance or servicing of an electrical device, make sure it is disconnected.
It is a good idea to take inventory of your workplace and identify any potential electrical problems ahead of time.
Don’t Forget the Shocking Truth
As well as fire risks please be careful of Electrical shock as a hazard. It must be respected at all times. An electrical shock happens when your body becomes part of the electrical circuit. This event is affected by the electrical pathway, the amount of current, the time exposed, and whether your skin is wet or dry. Electrical circuits can provide up to 20,000 milliamperes of current, more than enough to be dangerous or even fatal.
If you have concerns about your building’s electrical system for either fire hazard or shock risk, contact Wireman Electric immediately.