Each year, hundreds of electrical fires and emergencies are reported in the UK. Some are managed before they wreak havoc, while others burn down houses, cause injuries and deaths.
Perhaps the saddest reminder of the dangers of electrical fires is the Greenfel Towers fire that struck in London; many lives were lost and preliminary investigations pointed out to a faulty kitchen appliance that caused an electrical fire.
The threat is real and clear, you as the homeowner have the responsibility of ensuring that your home is safe and habitable. 90% of all electrical fires are avoidable and as a result of human error; poor, substandard power connections, faulty electrical appliances, and so on so forth. Have a look on these tips on how to avoid electrical fires.
- Wiring inspections; the UK law is very clear on the rules and regulations guiding electrical wiring, what particular cables to use, and the number of inspections to be conducted by a licensed professional electrician. The electrician should provide you with an inspection certificate indicating that they’ve conducted an inspection of the wiring, state of the cables, and that there’s no immediate danger posed. In case of an accidental electrical fire, your insurance company will want to have a look at the inspection certificate from a professional electrician.
- Faulty electrical appliances; while electrical appliances, especially those found in the kitchen, are notorious for causing electrical fires, they tend to show signs of damage before bursting to flames. If your electrical appliance is emitting smoke when you connect it, or some sparks and a hissing sound, switch it off and contact a competent electrician immediately. If a power cable gets damaged in the house, never try to repair it by connecting wires and wrapping them with electrical tape. Be 100% safe by contacting a good electrician to come do the repairs.
- Don’t repair gadgets; most electrical appliances in our homes have a warning; “Do not Open, Risk of Shock”. Attempting to open up an electrical appliance to fix or repair a thing, however minor can be dangerous. You have the risk of an electric shock staring at you, or causing an accidental fire that may be hard to put off. Electrical repairs ought to be done only by a competent electrician.
- Water and electricity; water and electricity are the worst enemies. When cleaning your home and there’s water splashing all over the walls, switch off the sockets of electrical appliances for that duration. If it’s raining and there’s risk of flooding, switch off your power from the main switch. When designing your bathroom, ensure that your lighting fixtures and other lighting needs are handled by a professional electrician. Bathtubs and saunas should only be installed by a professional and licensed electrician. No bulb or lighting fixture should be within 8ft of the bathtub.
- Buy original; at a time when the market is flooded with fake products and imitations of the genuine ones, you need to be careful. Cheap can be expensive. Make sure that you purchase all your electrical appliances from a genuine and reputable dealer. Such are bound to last longer and unlikely to cause fires caused by power surges. Besides, buying genuine products means that in case of damage or a fire, you’ll get compensated because they usually come with warranty.
- Energy saving products; energy saving products like LED lights tend to be safer to use, besides consuming less power. LED lights tend to be easier to control in terms of the temperatures you want.
The safety of your home or office should always be prioritized; get in touch with a professional, licensed electrician who can come and inspect your wiring and electrical appliances.