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How To Prevent Electrical Fires

How To Prevent Electrical Fires
How To Prevent Electrical Fires

Electrical fires are a major cause of accidental fires in the UK. Nearly a quarter of fires in 2008 were ignited by sources with electric origins.

Faulty electrical equipment is the most dangerous source of electrical fire as you never know when the fault might cause that first igniting spark. Electrical fires are also most prevalent where the faulty appliance contains a heat source – such as water heaters, ovens and heat-seal packaging equipment.

Thankfully there are measures we can take to ensure our electrical equipment is operating optimally at all times. If we ensure our electrical devices, from our extension leads to our computers, are fault-free we can help reduce the danger of fire.

Safety Regulations

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989

These rules apply to all uses of electricity within the workplace – from electrical supply to the use of electrical equipment. Employers, employees and self-employed workers must adhere to these regulations.

You must:

have electrical systems constructed in a way that prevents danger

maintain electrical systems to prevent danger

ensure electrical equipment in hazardous environments is constructed or protected to prevent danger

only let qualified and skilled personnel work on electrical supply and equipment

Danger Signs

There are a number of signs you can look out for that will help you recognise faulty equipment. If something seems out of the ordinary isolate the power supply and call an electrician right away.

Notable situations:

Frayed or damaged wires can be very dangerous as the electrical current in the wire could make contact with a flammable source, not to mention the danger of electrocution to anyone who touches the wire.

During day-to-day use, many electrical items can feel warm and get hot through general use. This is something we are all familiar with but if an appliance feels unusually hot to touch it could be a sign that something is amiss.

Overloaded sockets, where too many plugs are connected to one electrical point, can overheat easily and cause a fire.

Poor planning and positioning could lead to electrical equipment being placed or used next to water sources and trailing cables could easily get tripped over and cause damage.

Regular Maintenance

Good practice and regular servicing can greatly reduce the chance of faults occurring in the first place. For example, you should ensure that anything with a motor is serviced by a qualified electrician at least once a year.

PAT (portable appliance testing) should also be carried out regularly. This involves a competent person visiting your premises to electrically test all of the appliances in use, such as computers. You may be familiar with the green stickers that state when the test was carried out, when a re-test is due and the initials of the tester.

The interval between servicing and testing depends on the item itself and the environment it is used in. Please make allowances accordingly.

Between these events you can ensure that you:

Check wires and appliances for damage before use

keep machinery and other electrical items cool and well-ventilated

Report any faulty equipment

Fire Detection

In the unfortunate event that a fire does take place early detection will lessen the damage the fire will cause. Your fire alarm system of smoke detectors and heat detectors will alert you to the danger and, if you have procedures in place, the system will even notify the authorities.

Visit our fire alarms category to view our expansive range of fire safety stock.

Discount Fire Supplies sell a range of fire alarms, fire alarm accessories and much more. Browse our online shop or contact us for a quote today.

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