Spark no dangers

Most accidents that occur from electrical hazards are avoidable, provided appropriate safety measures are taken. The International Copper Association India lists a few of them.

The need for electrical safety has become a major concern as more and more electrical accidents are being reported. Accidents from electrical shock and fire hazards, many a time, lead to death. And the culprit is poor or improper installation of wiring and electrical systems. Electrical accidents recorded during the rainy season are approximately 50 per cent more than during other seasons.

The  International Copper Association India (ICAI) shares measures to be taken while handling or installing electric systems:

Meter board

Ensure the meter board is placed in a dry place, as an exposed or unprotected meter board imposes high risk of short-circuit and fire. Also, wet area or water logging is very risky from the point of view of electrical leakages. If there is any leakage, disconnect the power supply and inform the supplier company for immediate measures.

Suitable earthing

Earthing is the most essential safety requirement. To keep the earthing system efficient, get it regularly checked by a qualified expert. It is good to have an electrical leakage protection device (RCD) handy, to avoid any dangers.

Safety for appliances

Check your electrical appliances and their cords at regular intervals. Replace frayed or damaged electrical cords before they cause any fatal accidents. Never keep flammable materials near your electrical appliances, especially in the kitchen area where there is high risk of electrical fire accidents due to gas stoves/ cylinders. Do not overload power points by using too many adapters.

Beware of wet walls

Electric shock occurs whenever bare electric wire touches the wet wall. Always switch off power in the portion where the water is likely to come in contact with electrical wires. Wear rubber soled shoes when operating power tools. Change bare wires with proper insulated wires or apply proper insulation over bare wires. Keep electrical appliances away from windows and balconies.

Outdoor wiring

Rain water may enter street light boxes and light fittings that don’t have appropriate ingress protection (IP). It may lead to hazardous situations like short-circuits, flashovers, and heavy electrical leakages, giving electrical shocks. 

Regularly check the wiring outside the building and lamp posts in your area. Be careful of any exposed cable hanging from the poles or trees, inform the local service provider immediately and get it fixed.

Residential wiring 

n It is essential to always have a separate electrical installation for ceiling and higher levels on walls

n Devices consuming higher power must have separate wiring

n Always have separate circuits for kitchen and bathroom

n Make sure any sub-circuit does not have more than 10 points (light, fan, and 6A sockets)

n Have separate wiring for common area lighting 

n It is prudent to have three wire controls, with individual and master control for effective conservation, for large halls

n Any fire alarm/ emergency lighting  circuits must be segregated from each other, and all other cables as well

n Extra low voltage circuits must have a separate system

Large buildings

n Deploy sub-distribution board (final circuit distribution board) to avoid unnecessary cable length, and prevent voltage drop at more distant points (lamps and fans) n It is necessary to decide the number of sub-main circuits (distribution ckt), sub-distribution boards (branch distribution boards) and final circuits to loads, as per the number of points to be wired and the load to be connected per circuit

n The distribution board must be of adequate size and must have plenty of wiring space between terminals 

n Power socket outlet circuit should never exceed 3000 W. In case of fault, only that particular circuit should be disconnected

n The essential loads must be fed by a standby source, through separate wiringn Unless specified otherwise, wiring must be done only by ‘looping system’. Phase conductors have to be looped at switch boxes and kept neutral at point outlets

Precautions 

n Electrical permit and inspection are absolutely necessary

n Service equipment must be large enough to supply the connected load

n Service equipment must be grounded in accordance with safety regulations

n Temporary construction service must be constructed as a complete service, with all the safety measures in place 

n Always wear rubber soled shoes when operating power tools

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