Friday, March 3, 2017

What Causes Electrical Fire In The Home

Unfortunately, home (buildings) fires are an all too common occurrence and in a great many cases the root cause is an electrical failure of some kind. The causes of electrical fires are many; overloaded circuits will simply heat up until they either melt the wire in two or (more likely) cause a fire. Such modifications all too often have literally deadly results. Sometimes it is mechanical failure of an electrical device and sometimes it is from improper usage,improper wiring methodsor design of the electrical system as well as use of low quality electrical materials.
Any time electricity flows it creates heat. Under normal conditions, this heat is minimal - your wiring is designed and installed to prevent any large amount of heat build-up in the electrical system. Sometimes, though, failing equipment or devices create far more heat than they are designed to.
Nearly all electrical fires can be prevented, though, if we understand the causes of electrical fires and take appropriate steps to prevent them. A little added convenience, saving a couple of Naira - these things aren't worth risking the loss of your home or life from a fire. Designing, wiring and installing electrical systems of good quality that will operate safely is our top priority and making sure our clients gets the best service.
The National Electrical Code (NEC) is widely accepted throughout Nigeria as the definitive standard for electrical work and a good portion of that code consists of procedures to prevent fire. As a professional electrical engineer for many years I am expected and required to understand and comply with the guidelines of the NEC at all times and that typically means an understanding of why those rules are in place.
Basic steps to prevent electrical fire out-break
1) Any wiring over 40 years old should be checked by a qualified electrician periodically. This is a worthwhile investment for a household's safety and peace of mind.
2) Circuit breakers help to protect the house from fire by "tripping" when the circuit begins to overload by exceeding the number of amps the circuit is rated for. Fuses provide the same protection, but circuit breakers are reusable where fuses need to be replaced whenever they "blow out.
3) Dimming and flickering lights are a sign of an overloaded circuit.
4) Buzzingcharred and discoloured outlets or light switches are a very bad sign of a potentially dangerous situation. The outlet or switch should be replaced right away.
5) A burning smell in a home (building) with no identifiable source can be scary. An electrical fire initially has a fairly acrid smell and a short that causes a brief burn has the same smell. Electrical fires that catch surrounding material on fire, however, have a very different smell. If a burning smell is present, especially if it smells acrid, call an electrician immediately.
6) Shocking switches or outlets are a good indicator that the switch or outlet is bad. Sometimes, however, it means that there is a wire in the circuit shorting out to the conduit enclosing the wires.

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