Today, electricity is no longer a luxury but a necessity. We are constantly surrounded by electrical equipment and, thus, perpetually exposed to the risk of electrical fires.
In the workplace, an electrical fire can happen and spread instantaneously, which brings about the need to understand the sources of electrical fires and how to mitigate such incidents.
In this article, we’ll dive into the common causes of electrical fires and how to prevent them from occurring in the workplace. Without further ado, let’s begin!
How does an electrical fire start?
An electrical fire is triggered by a malfunction or failure in the electrical components of machinery and equipment such as cables, circuit breakers, and wires. Listed below are some of the common causes of an electrical fire:
One of the major causes of electrical fires is faulty wiring, poor quality electrical equipment, and split cables. You must ensure that your wiring is safe, as faulty and outdated wiring poses an ongoing risk of an electrical fire.
Poor maintenance and old equipment
The main causes of electrical fires are poor maintenance and ageing equipment. Outdated electrical panels and frayed cables and wires cause arcing, which can result in a fire.
Also, remember to stay away from old and malfunctioning appliances. Old equipment is susceptible to fire as it may not be up to standard in regard to safety regulations, quality, and wattage usage.
Light fixtures and combustible materials
Another leading cause of electrical fires is light fixtures and the placement of combustible material. Be sure to check your lamp and light fixtures periodically.
Because electric currents generate heat, placing combustible material near switches, plugs or fixtures may ignite fires. Exposing combustible material to hot bulbs or uncontrolled heat is simply a recipe for disaster.
Preventing an electrical fire in a workplace environment
Electrical fires are deadly as they can spread in a matter of seconds, especially in a workplace that includes a myriad of electrical equipment such as printers, laptops, and computers. An electrical fire can lead to catastrophic repercussions for your property and jeopardise the lives of all your employees.
Hence, it’s critical for everyone in the workplace to follow appropriate safety measures when utilising the many electrical appliances available.
What’s more, it’s also pertinent for you to get suitable fire extinguisher types for specific classes of fires. Electrical fires are classified as Class E fires. The best fire extinguishers for this category would be Deionised Water Mist Extinguisher, Dry Powder Extinguisher, and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Extinguisher.
Keeping you safe, always
We hope this post sheds some light on how to minimise the risk of electrical fires. In order to mitigate the ramifications of destructive fires, we recommend having your property and people protected with reliable fire protection. Palcon offers comprehensive fire safety solutions and services designed to ensure the utmost safety for all our clients.