Preventing electrical fires should be a top priority in both households and workplaces. It can be achieved by being vigilant and taking necessary precautions such as regularly checking electrical appliances for wear and tear, avoiding overloading electrical outlets, and keeping flammable objects away from heat sources. Another effective measure to prevent electrical fires is to ensure regular maintenance of electrical systems by a licensed electrician. By following these steps, we can significantly reduce the risk of electrical fires and ensure the safety of our surroundings.
Electrical fires are a serious concern for any household or business. If you live in Victoria, you should be extra mindful of the risk of electrical fires. Country Fire Authority in Victoria states that cooking and electrical fires are the most common reasons for house fires across Victoria.
With the help of this guide, you can better understand the common causes of electrical fires, identify potential hazards, and take steps to safeguard your home from the risk of electrical fires.
What are electrical fires?
An electrical fire is a type of fire caused by a malfunction or misapplication of electrical components. These components include wiring, power outlets, circuit breakers, and other electrical equipment.
Electrical fires can occur due to various issues, such as circuit overloading, faulty wiring, and incorrect installation of electrical components. Further, fires can occur due to improper use of appliances, such as using too many appliances on one circuit or use of faulty electrical appliances.
In most cases, you can prevent these fires by following the proper safety measures and inspecting electrical components regularly. When an electrical fire does occur, it is crucial to act quickly and carefully to put out the fire and prevent it from spreading.
Common causes of electrical fires
1. Faulty wiring
2. Power overload
Using too many appliances on one circuit can cause an overload in the system, leading to an electrical fire. An enormous amount of electricity goes through the circuits, which generates too much heat leading to fires.
3. Faulty outlets and plugs
4. Faulty appliances
Tips for Preventing Electrical Fires
- Never break the third prong of a plug into a two-prong, to plug it into a two-pronged outlet.
- Consult a licensed professional to examine the wiring if it is over 20 years old.
- Don’t run wires beneath the carpet (especially extension cords).
- Hold the plug and pull the cord safely when disconnecting a plug. Pulling from the cord can cause wear and tear that could damage the wiring.
- Keep electrical cords away from sources of water and heat.
- Buy appliances that are approved by the authorities and Australian Standards.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines when using.
- Get help from a professional to check the defective appliances.
- Disconnect all small appliances when you are not using them. For instance, when you are on vacation.
- It is always better to replace old, faulty, and damaged equipment with new ones.
- Disconnect all appliances from the power outlet before cleaning.
- Add sufficient power outlets to your home. Don’t rely too much on extension cords.
- If you have two-pronged outlets, change them to three-pronged outlets.
How to act during an electrical fire?
Now you know several tips to prevent a potential fire. However, it would be best if you also were prepared to face a fire hazard. Accidents are always unexpected. Therefore you should know how to act during an electrical fire.
Preparing for a fire
1. Smoke alarms
Install smoke alarms in the house. They will detect smoke and sound the alarm to alert you at the early stages of the fire. This gives you time to evacuate or take action to extinguish the fire before it spreads.
2. Fire extinguishers
It is always better to keep a fire extinguisher with you. However, you should have an extinguisher that works on “Class E” fires to deal with fire from electricity.
Therefore you should have a carbon dioxide, dry chemical powder ABE, or dry chemical powder BE extinguisher with you. It is advisable to keep at least one fire extinguisher on each floor of your home.
How should you act in preventing electrical fires?
When there is a fire, you could do a couple of things.
- Never try to put out electrical fires with water because you could get electrocuted.
- Unplug or turn power off electricity where possible.
- Spray a Class E fire extinguisher on the source of the fire.
- If you don’t have an extinguisher, baking soda will do the job. However, this is only suitable at the initial stage of the fire.
How to identify electrical fire hazards?
As we said before, electrical hazards can occur due to various reasons. However, all of these would occur due to a few underlying common causes. They are faulty wiring, power overloading, faulty outlets and plugs, and faulty appliances.
Therefore when identifying a potential fire hazard, it is important to watch out for these signs.
1. Buzzing sound
Do you hear a buzzing sound near the power outlets and appliances? Then that could be due to power overloading.
2. Flickering lights
If the lights are constantly flickering, it could indicate an underlying issue in the wiring system and circuit system. This needs immediate attention of a licensed electrician.
3. Discolouration in power outlets
Do you often see discolouration in the power outlets? These could be burn marks due to high heat and sudden sparks. This could trigger a house fire.
4. Old wiring
5. The surface of the switches is too hot
If the surface of the switches is too hot, this could be a sign of an underlying issue in the circuit system. Check it with an electrician as soon as possible.
6. Constant tripping
Preventing electrical fires is crucial for the safety of any household or business in Ballarat, Victoria. Faulty wiring, power overloading, faulty outlets, and appliances are common causes of electrical fires that can be prevented. It is essential to be aware of the signs that may indicate a potential electrical fire hazard and take immediate action when necessary.
To prevent electrical fires, it is important to regularly inspect your home or business for potential hazards. Check electrical appliances for wear and tear, avoid overloading electrical outlets, and keep flammable objects away from heat sources. It is also recommended to have regular maintenance of electrical systems by a licensed electrician to ensure they are in good working condition.
By following these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of electrical fires and keep your home and family safe. It is important to be mindful of the potential hazards and take necessary steps to safeguard your home from the risk of fires.
Are you looking for a professional electrician in Ballarat who can help you to safeguard your home against electrical fires? Then don’t hesitate to contact MJ Electrician today. Our team has helped hundreds of clients be safe from electrical hazards for years.
We have the experience and expertise to help you overcome electrical challenges. Don’t forget our 24/7 emergency service, which is there to help you overcome emergency electrical issues. Let’s fix the issues and be safe from electrical fires. Request a service today!