What are the most common causes of electrical fires? How to prevent them?

asked 31 Aug, 15:29

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KnowledgeBase
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Electrical fires occur due to a lack of attention in the maintenance and use of electrical equipment. The power which drives electric motors and provides heat and light is capable of igniting its insulation or any combustible material nearby. All electrical equipment should be properly installed, maintained and operated.
The most common causes of electrical fires are:

  • Failure of insulation causing short circuits or discharge to earth.
  • Overheating of cable or equipment due to overloading, lack of ventilation or local overheating.
  • Ignition of flammable substances by electrostatic discharges.
  • Misuse of electrical equipment which in itself is not actually defective.
  • Switchboard fires due to loose connections, faulty contactors or loose bus-bar retaining bolts.

Precautions to be followed:

  • All equipment should be installed correctly and only used for a specific function that it is designed for.
  • Regular electrical and mechanical maintenance should be carried out including insulation readings and cleanliness.
  • All overload protection devices should be tested regularly.
  • Switchboard chattering contactors to be repaired or replaced.
  • Regular inspection of the switchboard internal connections to be carried out.
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answered 31 Aug, 15:34

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