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Most Home Fires Caused by Faulty Wiring

The Numbers Tell a Story

According to a study by Macquarie University, an average of 50 Australians die each year, from residential fires, which is more than other natural hazards such as floods, storms and bushfires combined, and conservatively accounting for over $900 million in property damage claims, but the truly tragic thing is that a vast majority of  fires could have been prevented..

Most home owners assume they are immune to home fires because the house is new or only adults live there. With improving building codes, fires have been reduced, but home electrical wiring is still a major cause of home fires. Old wiring, faulty outlets, damaged appliance cords, wrong use of extension cords, overloading circuits, are but a few causes of these fires. Wiring causes more fires than electrical appliances such as electric ranges and ovens, dryers, radios, TVs, record players and sometimes the central heating unit.

So, with the winter season almost upon us, it’s a timely reminder there are some simple things we can do, to protect our lives and property. Here are but a few:

1. Routinely check the wiring of your electrical appliances. The major problem here is frayed, cracked or cut sheathing. If you find this problem, replace the damaged cord immediately. Do not power appliances with long extension cords unless the cord is properly rated. Don’t risk breaking wires by pinching them behind furniture or stretching them to a TV, entertainment center, etc.

2. Do not overload wall sockets and if children are present, child proof the sockets.

3. If you touch a wall light switch and it is warm or hot, it needs to be replaced. If you have lights that flicker when they are turned on by the wall switch, this is an indication that the switch should be replaced.

4. Children should not be allowed to play around electrical appliances such as space heaters or even hair dryers and irons. Keep children at least 1 metre away from a space heater for fear they may turn it over or get close enough for their clothes to catch fire. An electric iron can be the source of a home fire if not properly used and many younger children do not understand this.

5. Most homes have circuit breaker switches in bathrooms and kitchens. This is a safety measure because water is near-by. Never use appliances near wet floors or counters even if your home has these breakers.

6. During holiday seasons such as Christmas, use special precautions when using extension cords. There is always the tendency to plug too much into too little, and if lights are left on when away from home, you are inviting trouble.

It is advisable that fire extinguishers recommended for electrical fires be placed strategically around the house and all members of the family become familiar with their use.

7. Check all smoke detection units are in good working order, and test their function frequently.

Most deaths occur at night and more than a third of those who died in residential fires were aged over 65.

8. Make sure that your vulnerable elderly relations, especially living alone, are protected..

Some foresight and frequent inspections of your electrical equipment is well worth the time and energy spent! Protect yourself, your family and your property!

Following these few simple steps, will ensure your holiday season is one of joy and not sadness. If you have any doubts regarding your electrical system, contact one of our team today, for your no obligation assessment.

Dedicated To Your Fire Safety

Alex

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