Statistics highlight that 40% of fire accidents in a building happen due to electrical issues, most of which are triggered by loose wiring and connections or its poor maintenance.
By Saurabh Goel,
The dependence on electricity is an inseparable part of daily lives, due to the rising standard of living in Indian households. Today, a typical household has more electrical appliances than ever before and the country has witnessed nearly 25% increase in the electricity consumption within the residential sector. As we are moving ahead in the world of technology, new appliances, gizmos, and gadgets are increasing the load on the electrical infrastructure. Therefore, it is imperative to be aware of the implications of power surges. Some of the reasons that steer power surges are overlooked circuits, power cut, uncovered and damaged wires. Statistics highlight that 40% of fire accidents in a building happen due to electrical issues, most of which are triggered by loose wiring and connections or its poor maintenance. A power surge is an unexpected wave that can harm the electronic items in the house due to frequent fluctuations of current, voltage. To avert such a situation, it is important to ensure installation or maintenance of electrical devices for safety from Electrical shock and Fires.
Here are four safety tips that can help avoid a power surge situation and keep the loved ones at home safe.
Examine old or damaged wiring
Wire and cables are the nerves of the entire electricity infrastructure of the home running through opaque walls. Often spared little to no attention after installation, these are only revisited at times of replacement or repair. Compatibility of wiring with the electrical load of the homes is essential, if an internal wire breaks or loses just a scrap of its insulation sheath, it can energize the metal housing which in turn can result in leakage current causing nasty shock or a big disaster like fire. Hence, the choice of quality of wire installed is essential to mitigate long term issues. It is suggested to go for ROHS, flame-retardant, rodent and termite protected and high-insulation resistance wires to safeguard homes. It is advisable to include Zero halogen cables for high density establishments, ensuring minimal loss of fire in case of Fire.
Invest in home surge protection devices
Surge protection devices (SPD) inhibit transient voltages and divert surges into underground thereby protecting expensive electronics and appliances. Voltage Surge protection devices are highly suitable for areas with thunderstorms, cyclones & circuit bearing electronic equipment. One can consult the electrician for the easy installation since frequent voltage surges can damage every single electric & electronic equipment in a house in a split second if surge protection is not a part of the circuitry.
Adopt quality circuit breakers for home
Circuit breakers are an important fail-safe mechanism and ensure protection of large appliances like ACs, TVs and refrigerators. Switchgears are vital electrical safety devices that can protect us from current leakage, short-circuits and overload. In every household, adoption of circuit breakers is imperative which can isolate circuits and protect electrical equipment (and valuable human lives). These circuit breakers come in different ratings for different types of loads, and hence need to be used as per the load specification with assurance of quality. These devices are installed in an enclosure which is known as a Distribution board . It is essential to select the right product as per location of Application (IP rating) and circuitry designed, ensuring ample wiring space , ease of maintenance and long term use . In modern day homes, Distribution boards are placed near the entrance , hence aesthetic quotient plays a vital role.
Smartly plug your appliances
Today, a lot of technological advancements have been made in the field of building circuit protection devices, keeping in mind the exponentially multiplying needs of electrical safety. Latest innovation is in the field of downstream protection devices in adaptor settings, offering protection against Short circuit, Overload and leakage current. These devices solve a greater problem of nuisance tripping and extend much needed protection against faults. PRCD (Portable adaptor) , SRCD (Socket level) can easily be used in existing settings. These devices are a must where we have appliances dealing with interplay of water and electrical circuits like Geyser, Kitchen appliances, water coolers & dispensers. It is advisable to take pre-emptive measures and safeguard one’s family with best quality electrical equipment.
(The author is President, Havells India. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)