A hideout for a century old trigger of house fires in the UK

October 13, 2016



England has widely suffered from house fires over the years. Fortunately with the help of technology and precautions action, the rate is going down. Last year, the accidental fires accounted for 88% of house fires, 39600 in numbers. Half of these houses either had no smoke alarm or they had but it was not functional. 


The accidents revolve around misuse of equipment and appliances, especially the cooker and oven, and the careless disposal of burning material like cigarettes. Unfortunately accidents and mistakes happen, it should be a personal endeavour to prevent such accidents to a degree. 


Apart from these common exposed causes for fires in homes, there is one hidden ancient cause. Hidden but dangerous; electrical spark can easily ignite a fire. Especially in the last century, the old wires were not designed in the best way, so they very vulnerable to start fires by short circuiting each other.





                                                                                                          Old Wiring


Most of the houses are "rewired"

according to the new regulations but there are still plenty which have not, especially the houses of elderly. It is important to identify the wiring and renew if old. Take a look at these images to identify your wiring if you can find an exposed part. 


                           New Wiring


New wiring system reduces the chance of electrical spark, but still there might be hundreds of placement and wiring errors that can increase the chance of ignition from electricity.


Below is an example of mispositioning, see how the electric wire is placed too close to the hot water pipes of central heating, over long period of operation, the heat can melt the wires and cause electrical failure and risk of fire. Some other mispositionings may be done by placing the wires on floor joist which can be damaged when fixing floor boards.



                                     Bad practice; electrical wire exposed to heat damage





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