Top 5 causes of electrical house fires
For all those who have been caught up in a house fire or witnessed the devastating aftermath, here are some common culprits and simplistic ways to maintain control over your electrical goods. In no particular order here are the five top culprits.
One of the most difficult to keep an eye on, mainly due to forgetting they are there in the first place is our fuse boxes. The main issues arising from the hub of our homes electricity is often improper installation. Often being located in cupboards under stairs also brings the further problem that they may compromise an emergency exit.
A change to Wiring Regulations means that all new installations must feature metal cladding for greater protection, and the London Fire Brigade have insisted that fuse boxes should be made from non-combustible materials.
Lithium batteries are pivotal to the everyday use and operation of your laptop. They provide the energy needed whilst taking up the least space possible. Lithium however is a highly reactive chemical has been known to explode when coming into contact with air – a risk you take when continuing to use a damaged battery.
Batteries used in laptops can deteriorate when charged excessively and then left plugged in, so it’s wise to unplug your laptop once the battery is full.
Modern houses are built with our need for multiple outlets in mind. With phone charging, lamps, TVs, fairy lights, routers and speaker docks all jostling for power, and limited capacity in older properties, increasing the number of outlets with adapters is the norm in most households. But overloading sockets can be very dangerous and if you must use more than the two available make sure you do so with caution.
Never “daisy chain” extension leads, and check outlets and wires for blackness, smoke and damage before a fire has the chance to break out.
Ever tried to change a halogen spotlight after it’s just gone? This is never recommended as these spotlights which are a popular feature in bathrooms and kitchens can reach 200°C.Apart from scorching your fingers they can easily ignite any combustible material that surrounds them, which is why it’s so important to make sure it’s clear of any such material, and has enough ventilation to allow heat to escape. LED bulbs, while more expensive, are a much safer bet as they’re heat free and also use less energy.
Consider the use of spotlights in built-in bookshelves, for example. Are these spotlights given enough space behind closed doors, and plenty of room so they’re not too close to any books?
Phone chargers are like buses – you can’t find any then suddenly you find yourself with a draw full, none of which fit your device. Cheap phone chargers which don’t come with your phone may be tempting, but they could provide a higher voltage than your device is designed to handle, presenting a risk of damage to your phone at best and a serious fire in the worst case scenario. There’s a reason the replacement chargers made by the manufactures cost more. These products will more likely comply with safety regulations and are worth the extra money when the alternative could be fires, electric shocks and injury.
Unplug your phone once it’s fully charged and only use a charger that comes with your phone or is certified.