Basic Steps to Avoid House Fires

House fire is one of the most common causes of deaths worldwide. It also brings damage to property, including valued possessions and memories. Complacency about building permits and regulations and negligence to follow precautionary measures despite strict reminders are the main reasons house fires occur.

Fire incidents remain prevalent worldwide killing and injuring thousands, especially in countries where temperatures are high as well as in low-income, developing countries where houses are usually congested or are made of light-weight materials.

Similar to any appliance that we keep on using, houses have their own shelf-life. They also age, especially the electrical wirings. As this happens, this can be a risk to those residing in a particular house. Insulation of the wirings results to excessive heat brought by overloaded circuits.

Awareness on home safety concerns, particularly on  old wiring inspection, is essential to prevent fire incidents. Home repair stores usually sell electrical components and testing equipment. But if you know nothing about your home electrical maintenance, it is a good investment to hire a reputable electrician to check on your house’s electrical system.

Qualified Electrician

What makes a certified electrician? He is an individual with the technical background, basic principles and thorough understanding about the electrical regulations and systems.

He has in-depth understanding of the BS7671 electrical standards and the current C&G 2382-10 qualification. A qualified electrician is aware of all installation specifications, whether minor jobs or new installations, where he is adept in testing and checking all wirings to prevent problematic connections.

Depending on their levels such as a senior role or a supervisor, various certifications are required for electricians. Not all good electricians have the necessary certifications. Some are excellent in their field because of their exposure to the industry’s standards and their years of experience. For as long as the competent electrician has the sufficient technical skills, relevant experience and the hard core understanding of the electrical work, he can be considered as a qualified electrician.

Old Wiring

Old Electrical WiringFaulty wiring is seen as the most common reason why house fires occur in the U.S. based on the 2009 study conducted by the National Fire Prevention Association. This has improved over time as safer electrical wirings were installed.

For old wirings, periodic checking of a qualified electrician is necessary to ensure the household’s safety and peace of mind. Routine self-inspection is very helpful for homeowners, especially if they are living in an apartment that is as old as 40 years.    

Using a simple outlet tester is an affordable device that can be plugged into an outlet to check if the wire is properly installed. Seeking a qualified electrician to provide professional assistance is necessary.

Electrical accidents usually occur because of poor judgment. Some may have thought that an equipment has a dead connection, but is actually live. Some do not have sufficient training or background so they do not know how to take precautionary measures when the unexpected events happen. This holds true in cases of installation and design. Lack of full understanding of the electrical principles and standards of the minimum compliance criteria may lead to defects in the  future that may be risky and cause shock or fire in a household.

Electrical Warning Signs

Outlet FireOwners of old houses should have regular inspection of their electrical installations and systems. Frequent breakers and fuses that turn on and off show a warning sign. Buzzing or discolored switches and outlets are a good problem indicator. A burning smell of a plastic may mean something is wrong. If any switch or outlet shocks the user when gets contact to it indicates that this should be remedied to prevent short-circuits.   

As our house is  our dwelling place, it also needs tender loving care. The older it gets, the more attention it requires. The electrical wirings hidden from our sight require to be frequently inspected. An aging house has installations that can easily wear out for many reasons.  Having a qualified electrician at your side is very critical. Homeowners with technical background on electrical systems can do some routine inspections on their own to identify possible safety concerns of their old houses. As the saying goes,’prevention is better than cure.’

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