Electricity has become a basic part of our lives these days. It provides the energy we need to power most of the appliances we use at home today, from lights to ventilation systems and home entertainment systems. Today it is hard to imagine a residence without electricity. Electricity is an important part of our homes and our activities but most of us take it for granted. We rarely think how powerful and dangerous electricity is.
In the United States,
- Annually, an estimated 28,300 residential building electrical fires cause 360 deaths, 1,000 injuries, and $995 million in direct loss.
- Fifteen percent of residential building electrical fires start in bedrooms.
- Nearly half (47%) of the residential building electrical fires where equipment was involved were caused by the building’s wiring
Source: National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS)
HOME ELECTRICAL SAFETY TIPS
Electrical Installations. The law requires that electrical installations must be designed, installed and maintained only by qualified personnel. Some countries also require that electrical installations must be inspected and approved by authorized inspectors, usually from the electric utility company, building official or fire department prior to occupancy. Electrical installation must also comply and meet certain standards set by regulatory agencies.
- Circuit breakers must be installed in easily accessible location, usually in the kitchen and easy to reach area. The panel board must not be locked and not blocked for easy access.
- Heavy loads such as air-conditioning unit, refrigerators and electric range must be connected to a separate circuit. These equipments should not be connected to the general lighting and convenience outlet circuits. Circuits supplying power to bathrooms and other wet and damp areas, including outdoor power outlets, must be connected to a Residual Current Circuit Breaker (RCCB) or protected by a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI).
- It is also a good practice to label power outlets to indicate the voltage and current ratings. ( e.g. 110V/15A, 240V/20A, 220V/15A)
- Power outlets must also be strategically located so as to minimize the use of extension wires and temporary installation.
- Use only weather-proof fixtures or electrical fixtures designed for outdoor use outdoors.