Case Study: What are the Risks of Faulty Appliances?

A recent case study performed by the SCDF has shown that the commonality of electrical fires in residential homes is more common than you might expect. This poses the possibility of dangerous risks due to faulty appliances which may require an emergency electrician to resolve.

When dealing with appliances in your home, it’s important to always make sure to inspect on maintain them on a regular basis. Otherwise, you are at risk for fires or other dangerous electrical hazards.

By following the guidelines of the case study, and understanding the statistics derived from it, it is easy to understand the risks and possible hazards of faulty appliances. Thankfully, there are several tips and tricks you can employ in your life to prevent these dangers from occurring.

The Risks Posed by Faulty Appliances

In 2015, the SCDF published a Fire Analysis Report that counted over 10,000 cases of residential fires between the years of 2008 and 2010 in Singapore. A fraction of these fires were counted as electrical fires, meaning they occurred due to faulty appliances.

Here are some interesting statistics that were found during the course of the case study, which correlate directly with the use of faulty appliances:

  • Most electrical fires occurred on Saturdays and Sundays. This means that electrical appliance use is higher on the weekends, where more people are at risk for electrical fire.
  • The biggest electrical fires involved the power meter and electrical boxes. This means that something blew the power out, or that there was a possible malfunction in the circuit breakers.
  • Most electrical fires occur between 7pm and 8pm at night. This is when most residents are at home, using appliances for cooking or for entertainment.

Keeping the above statistics in mind, you can start to ask yourself if you follow any similar behaviors. Do you use your appliances most often on the weekends? Or perhaps in the evenings? Do you use caution when turning on your appliances, making sure to check and maintain them as often as possible?

These questions can lead into several helpful tips and pieces of advice which can help you stay safer when it comes to using your electronics. The risk for electrical fire may be higher at certain times of the day, or in certain areas, but you should always use caution when turning on any machine or device.

Tips to Prevent Fires from Faulty Appliances

The SCDF has laid out a series of fire prevention tips to help you steer clear of electrical fires. Keep in mind that the main reason an electrical fire occurs is because of an energized conductor. This means that an electrical fire can occur, even when you aren’t actively using the appliance.

Here are a few more safety tips you can employ the next time you want to use a device with an electrical component:

  • Do not overload electrical outlets. This means plugging too many appliances in at once. This is a sure fire way to cause an electrical surge.
  • Maintain your wires frequently. If you ever see a frayed or cracked wire, stop using the appliance as quickly as possible. This is a warning sign that the appliance is faulty.
  • Use approved electrical plugs. Some cheaply made outlets and power stips may not actually protect you from surges. When in Singapore, use outlets with the Singapore Safety Mark.
  • Keep electrical appliances away from hot surfaces. If your wires are close to a hot surface, they can become overcharged and they will pose a risk for electrical fire.
  • Don’t run wires under rugs or mats. This can cause them to overheat, and the carpet is a great conductor for electrical fires.

If you need more electrical safety information, you can refer to the EMA website at any time. Be sure to ask before attempting to fix or use an appliance. When in doubt, you should turn off your appliance and take it to a professional for inspection. It’s never worth risking the chance for electrical fire.