Man shares home safety tips after dad's electrical box catches fire

PHOTO: Facebook/Khairi Rais

There's nothing like the comfort of your house. During the pandemic, when people across the globe have been working from home, you wouldn't even want to imagine what the homeless are going through. 

After all, a house is a privilege that we must never ignore. That's why you need to be extra cautious within the comfort of your house as well. While it can protect you from viruses, infections, unruly traffic and so much more, it does have potential risks of its own. 

This is exactly why most owners need to carry out regular inspections in their houses. Right from appliances, loose cables, to leaking taps and faucets, by repairing and maintaining them you are extending their life and also averting accidents. 

Sadly, one Singapore family found out about this the hard way after a fire broke out in their house. 

Khairi Rais, a Singapore electrician took to Facebook to share and create awareness about the hazard of house fires if you don't create protection from electric shock.

In the post, he wrote that his father's home was nearly burned down due to a similar incident. 

Fire in living room after a blackout 

In the Facebook post, Rais explained that the incident occurred on Aug 20, at about 11pm. The man's father was taking a shower when there was a blackout in the house. 

The father didn't think much of it and continued with his shower and later dried himself up and prepared for bed. 

A few minutes later, Rais says his father stepped into the living for something and discovered that the distribution box (DB), or electrical panel was the fire. The flames from the fire had reached the corniced ceiling of the house. 

Thankfully, the dad had a dry powder extinguisher at home, which helped to put out the blaze. 

As Rais describes in his post, "Had he prepared for bed earlier and went to sleep, he wouldn’t have sensed the fire in the living room and would probably perish in the fire."

Faulty main cable caused the fire

PHOTO: Facebook/Khairi Rais

According to Rais, The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) investigated the cause of the fire and found a faulty main cable as the culprit. The incoming cable to the DB box caused arcing or sparking, which led to the fire. 

Rais conducted his own investigation and concluded that the kWh metre outside the house did not trip when it should've due to the excess voltage passing through it. 

The electrician was so moved by the incident that he made it a point to write a post on Facebook about it, despite not being an active user of the social media platform.

He wanted to demonstrate and share the importance of domestic electrical safety. 

You can check out the complete Facebook post below:

Tips for protection from electric shock at home

Rais shared few tips for protection from electric shocks and hazards at home: 

  • Do not overload socket outlets and multi-plugs.
  • If arcing occurs on the socket outlet and multi-plug, get them replaced immediately.
  • Switch off all your socket outlets and do a ‘Trip test’ on a weekly or monthly basis by pressing on the yellow button of the residual current circuit breaker (RCCB); if it flips down, it means it’s working
  • Switch off all your socket outlets and lights with the exception of the refrigerator if you are going to leave your house for a period of time, even for work.
  • Avoid using an instant water heater as it poses a higher risk of electrocution. Install a storage water heater instead.
  • Buy a dry powder extinguisher for home use. Make sure to get it inspected every year as instructed
  • Be wary of the smell of burning plastic, as it could be a sign of insulation failure in an appliance.
  • Always engage a LEW (Licensed Electrical Worker) for any electrical works.

This article was first published in theAsianparent.