Incidents of domestic fires are frightening

Dear Editor,
The incidents of electrical fires in Guyana are a frightening phenomenon, and if not dealt with swiftly, would result in great loss of human and financial resources.
The incidents of local fires are debilitating and frightening, especially when the poor and vulnerable are involved. There is the loss of place of permanent stability that they can call home. It makes the situation more pitiful when children get trapped in this sad state of affairs.
Now, I have spoken to a few experts in the field of electrical matters, and have come up with the following three main causes.
1.Damaged wiring: Electrical wires can become worn, frayed, or loose over time.
2. Malfunctioning appliances: Fires can result from faulty or poorly maintained electrical appliances.
3. Overloaded circuits: Plugging too many devices into a single circuit can overload it. In my view, the main cause of house fires is overloaded circuits. Persons are in the habit of primitively plugging or adding additional wiring into circuits, which become overheated and generate fires of catastrophic proportions. Old wooden structures are a tinder box for such disasters.
We are informed that electrical fires stem from electrical sources or systems, and occur due to ignitions coming from overheating, malfunctioning, or damaged electrical components. These fires can compromise the safety of residential, commercial or industrial settings, because of their potential to spread rapidly and cause extensive damage to lives and property.
Electrical fires pose serious hazards, but their impacts can be minimised if you recognise their telltale signs. This knowledge allows you to respond quickly, and keep everyone safe in the event.
It is important to stay vigilant and take appropriate action if you notice any of the following signs.
• Burning odour: A distinct smell of melting plastic, rubber, or wiring is a common sign of an electrical fire. If you find an unusual or persistent burning smell without any apparent source, it would be a hint of an electrical issue.
• Smoke: The presence of smoke, whether visible or faint, is a clear warning alarm that a fire is burning.
• Sparks: Visible sparks from appliances, outlets, or switches can signal an impending electrical fire.
• Discoloured outlets: Scorch marks or discolouration may suggest that outlets or switches are overheating and would consequently lead to a fire.
• Flickering lights: Frequent flickering of lights, along with a burning smell, can point out an electrical fire hazard.
• Tripped circuit breakers: Circuit breakers and fuses are bound to trip or blow up if too much current is flowing through them. If this happens frequently without getting repaired, an electrical fire can result.
• Last, but not least, don’t be afraid to call GPL for expert advice to address any of the issues mentioned above.
Remember, prevention is key to being free from the devastating impacts of electrical fires.
Neil Adams