Almost all home and business owners fear fire accidents. The reason is obvious - fire can easily consume entire homes, buildings or even neighborhoods in just a matter of minutes. Once the flames are stopped, you could be left with only cinders and soot, and your prized possessions, memorabilia and other important belongings are reduced to ashes. Because fires are very damaging, it's very important for people to be aware of the factors that often cause these. One thing that might set off a dangerous fire accident, for example, is when there are electrical problems which can be due to several reasons some of which will be discussed below.
Counterfeit or Low Quality Equipment
Using low quality wires or electrical equipment is one of the most common causes of fires. This goes the same for counterfeit products as well. These may be cheaper at first, but the price of using poor quality equipment can cost you more than you could ever imagine. A fake or substandard charger, for instance, could explode and this will endanger your health or produce a huge fire that will devour your entire home. Counterfeit products have not gone through stringent tests that check their reliability. This goes the same for substandard equipment that do not bear the mark of renowned and globally known testing companies. In addition to being fire hazards, fake and poorly-made electrical products are inefficient. To illustrate, those that have not passed EMC tests, which assess if a product works as it is intended to in the environment that it will be likely placed in, will have problems with electromagnetic disturbances or radiation emissions, which could then have a detrimental impact on health and safety. So, it's to your advantage to learn more about product testing and make sure to avoid using substandard electrical products.
Overloaded Circuits and Faulty Wires
At home, you might just continue to add more and more appliances without thinking about how these could impact your wiring system. It's probably alright to have iPads, computers, and other smaller gadgets at home on a single circuit. But it is safer to have larger appliances, like air conditioners and refrigerators, on separate circuits because these use up more power. Also, air conditioners produce surges of energy when turned on and off. If the appliance is not placed on a different circuit, the power surges could damage other more sensitive electrical gadgets. Hence, when installing a big piece of electrical device, it's best to consult a certified electrician to avoid overloading. Loose, corroded and faulty wires also cause circuits to overload.
Frayed or Old Wires
Wires naturally deteriorate over time or these can be damaged by pests, such as squirrels, mice and rats. Therefore, have your home's entire wiring system checked every five years or so, or more frequently if you suspect damage due to pests or extreme weather conditions.
Lamps, bulbs, and other light fixtures can also cause electrical accidents. A bulb with a too high wattage that is placed in a light fixture that needs one with a lower wattage can trigger an electrical accident. Therefore, it's important to make it a practice to check if the bulb is compatible with the light fixture. It's also important to turn off lights when not in use because bulbs could overheat and ignite. Lastly, some people like to decorate lamps using cloth or paper. This isn't a good idea because such materials can heat up and catch fire.
This blog post was contributed by Claire Lance, a freelancer who often writes about home improvement and safety. Through blogging, she's able to express her thoughts and share her experiences. She hopes that readers will find her write-ups informative and helpful.