Fire can cause significant damage to a property and is also a threat to people working or living in a building. When a property has been damaged by fire, it can be very disturbing. Valuable items or even loved ones can also be lost for good. But most people assume that only flammable materials can cause a fire, and the best way to control it is using water. Even though some of the information is true, it is important to note that fire can also be caused by other faults especially in electrical installations. Sometimes, electrical appliances or machines in a building can overheat causing the fire.
Most people underestimate the risk from electrical machines because there is no flame like the normal fire. Over heating of wires, plugs and even sockets can start a fire.
What are the main reasons for electrical fires?
Electrical fires can be caused by three main reasons
1. Poor wiring - If wire installation was poorly done, or the wiring is very old and of poor quality, this is a disaster in waiting. This can cause a heat build-up in the wires resulting to fire.
2. External heating - Sometimes wires might be hazardously hanging or very close to an external heat source. This can cause major problems like melting of the outer insulation. If something like this is not fixed on time, it can lead to a fire.
3. Electrical arcing - when talking of electrical fire, electrical arcing is a regular problem. If your property is using numerous large electrical machines, they normally cause a load on the wiring. If the wiring and installations were done many years back and were not expected to carry that kind of voltage, this can cause the wires to heat-up. When the wiring heats-up, insulation around it will start to melt causing arcing and eventually electrical fire.
The most important thing to note is that no matter the cause of an electrical fire if you try to stop it by pouring water over it, you will only make the problem worse. For that reason, you should always have a Fire extinguisher ( class C ) in your property. The fire extinguisher has dry chemicals that work well in containing electrical fires by bringing it under control or putting it off completely. If you do not have a fire extinguisher, you can use baking soda, it can help to extinguish the fire.
What should you do just in case an electrical fire break out on your property?
In case an electrical fire breaks out at your place of work or at your property, the first and the most important thing you should do is switching off the power. This can help in containing it. It is also significant to use the recommended fire extinguisher when dealing with electrical fire. Just like any other electrical crises, an electrical fire will start without any warning. Hence it is good to have contacts of several reliable, fire emergency companies. It is also vital to check if the companies are able to provide 24/7 services. You are also advised to carry out electrical appliance tests to ensure all your machines are in good condition.