Across the world, a significant number of fire accidents and tragedies result from electrical faults and malfunctions. The power cables transmitting electricity within areas carry high amounts of voltage, which is disastrous whenever things go wrong. The best way of avoiding these tragedies is by being aware of the warning signs of a potential fire outbreak. A careful evaluation of the appliances and fittings in a building should be enough to tell you of any impending danger. Here are some of the things you need to look out for:
Tripping Circuit Breaker
Circuit breakers are safety devices used in electrical connections to prevent the outbreak of a fire. They do this by identifying any excessive flow of current and cutting it off so that there is no overheating of any components of the circuit. Once in a while, it is normal for a circuit breaker to trip and cause a temporary blackout. However, frequent tripping is a clear sign that you at risk of an electrical fire breakout. It means that appliances or other large equipment are drawing too much power from that particular circuit, leading to a voltage overload. The constant tripping could be a mechanical failure of the circuit breaker or a short circuit that requires professional attention from a certified electrician.
When buying and installing electrical fittings, pay attention to their colour. For instance, most sockets and switches are usually while the main switch often has red or black switches. In case of a loose connection, the resultant sparking and arcing burns cause a minor fire that discolours the power outlet. For instance, white sockets will appear brownish or sooty at the outlets. This discolouration is an indication of bigger problems to come. You need to replace such fittings ASAP.
A pungent smell of burnt rubber or plastic is another indication that you are at high risk of an electrical fire. In most cases, it is difficult to tell where the smell is coming from considering that the wiring runs through walls and ceilings. Chances are a short circuit has occurred due to old wiring or faulty connections. Additionally, live wires might have been exposed to each other after the insulation material was damaged. Notorious pests such as rats are known for chewing up rubber or fabric insulation, leaving cables exposed and prone to short circuit.
In all these cases, it is important to call in commercial electrical contractors to assess the problem and deal with it accordingly.