Safety

ELECTRICAL FIRES SAFETY

What is fire? 

Fire is a rapid chemical reaction or a series of reaction that produces heat and/or light. Occurs where there is oxygen, heat, fuel and a chemical chain reaction.

Sources of fire 

Generally are 5: these are: People (arson, jealous intimidation, juvenile delinquency, insanity, sabotage, riots, radical terrorism etc); Friction (resistance to relative motion between two bodies in contact produce heat and sparks); Chemicals (e.g. if water is poured rapidly onto sulphuric acid fire occurs); Electricity (direct heating, arcing and shot circuiting, older wiring installation etc) and Spontaneous fires (fire that starts itself e.g. in dumps, at piles of hay and grain, etc).

Fires due to electricity in buildings 

The major cause of fire in buildings is arcing or sparking due to loose connection. Loose connections are mainly found in switches and sockets. The other cause is overheating of electrical equipment (cables and heating appliances). This is attributed with wrong use of cable sizes during installation, overloading of sockets, wrong use of fuse sizes and under sizing of the main switch.

Fires due distribution lines in buildings  

Common causes are: over voltage supply (normally affect many consumers connected to the same low voltage (LV) distribution mains) and short circuiting of distribution wires and/or lead-in-wires (these types of fires rarely happen since in most cases sparks produced during a short circuit hardly found no fuel to burn, so the sparks decays without causing spread of fire).

How to avoid fires due to electricity in buildings 

Employ authorised/licensed electrical installation contractors during wiring installation your building

Inspect/check wiring installations in your building every five (5) years using licensed contractor

Secure any loose connection whenever happens

Avoid overloading your sockets by plugging many appliances at one socket

Extension cables are for temporary use only. Avoid permanent use of them.

Use extension cords that are the correct size or rating for the equipment in use

Do not extend electrical wiring to the front house or chicken hut without using licensed contractor.

Test electrical protection devices e.g. residual current device (RCD) by pressing the testing button at least once in a month

How to avoid fires due on distribution lines in buildings

 Report immediately to your nearest Ludewa office any abnormality observed in the distribution lines

Preparedness and response of fire cases in buildings

Install/use smoke and/or heat detectors in every room of your building for early detection of fires

Posses fire blanket(s) at your home to fight fires. Recommended to have at least one carbon dioxide or dry powder (ABC) extinguishers

Minimize number of furniture especially of sponge types to avoid a big fire load in your building

Have escape routes in extreme rooms especially one of bed rooms. Many fires start at kitchen and sitting room.         

ELECTRICAL TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION LINES ACCIDENTS

 What are transmission lines? 

Transmission lines are extra high voltage lines transmitting electricity from generating station to consumers via grid substations.

Sources of accidents occurring in electricity  transmission lines

Carrying out activities under the lines. E.g. farming, cattle grazing, playing, etc.

Building closer or under the lines

Vandalism. E.g. of members of transmitting steel towers, conductors (cables)

Bush fires

Type of accidents occurring in transmission lines 

Electrocution of people and other living creatures

Fires

Hit by falling steel towers, conductors, etc

Social and economic accidents. E.g. blackouts,

How to avoid accidents occurring in transmission lines 

Do not do any activity under transmission lines. You are endangering your life.

Do not build closer or under transmission lines

Stop vandalism of electrical equipment in transmission lines.

Do not set bush fires.

Objects touched by a fallen wire e.g. fences, buildings or even surrounding ground must be considered energized and should not be touched.

Stay away from towers and lines during extreme windstorms, heavy rains, thunderstorms or other extreme conditions.    

What are distribution lines 

Distribution lines are medium high and low voltage lines distributing electricity to consumers through distribution substations. 

Sources of accidents occurring in electricity  distribution lines 

Activities under the lines. E.g. farming, cattle grazing, playing, bar sits placed under distribution lines, etc.

Acivities under or near distribution transformers e.g. selling of clothes (mitumba) below pole mounted transformers, activities touching the fence of ground mounted transformers.

Building closer or under the lines

Vandalism. E.g. of  transformer oil, conductors (cables),

Bush fires

Acts of children e.g. using catapults, climbing poles

Tree cutting closer or at lines

Touching fallen conductors

Carrying long objects in vehicles and passing under distribution lines

Fence electrification at home

Building illegal service lines and connections – VISHOKA

Power theft e.g. direct connection, meter bypassing and meter tempering.

Corruption and bribery activities

Type of accidents occurring in distribution lines

Electrocution cases

Damage of electrical appliances

Fires

Hit by falling poles, conductors, etc

Social and economic accidents. E.g. blackouts.

How to avoid accidents occurring in distribution lines

Do not use VISHOKA on any electrical work. Utilise your nearest TANESCO Office.

Do not sit or do any activity under distribution lines

Stop vandalism of electrical equipment in distribution lines.

Do not set bush fires.

Do not cut trees close to power lines

Do not carry long objects under power lines

Do not touch power lines that have fallen to the ground.

Check you children do not endanger their life by hitting birds on electric cables and climbing poles. 

If someone comes into contact with a live electrical source  - do not touch.