Don’t be trippin’; circuit breaker safety

CNW

It seems harmless enough – a circuit breaker in your home trips. You calmly walk over to the electrical panel and reset it. But you may be putting yourself and your family at risk by not identifying the root cause of the problem; this is particularly important if you are finding that your circuit breakers are repeatedly tripping. Unfortunately it’s an issue that Technical Safety BC safety officers see all too often when they are called to investigate the causes of residential fires.

“When a breaker trips, it is doing its job which is to cut off power due to a potentially hazardous situation like an overloaded circuit, short circuit or ground fault,” explains Ulrich Janisch, Electrical Safety Manager with Technical Safety BC. “If you ignore the warning signs, you could be ignoring a bigger electrical issue, which could result in serious injury or death.”

Technical Safety BC investigated a fire at a rental property in Abbotsford last year that resulted from too many power bars and extension cords being used as a substitute for permanent wiring. The tenants reported that the breaker for the basement circuit had been tripping at least once a month over the past four and a half years. They also experienced more issues when they used portable heaters or hair straightening irons. Over time, the connection overheated, melted the plastic cord and ignited a bed and mattress. Luckily, the residents escaped the fire without injury.

Here are some important tips related to electrical breakers:

• Don’t over load your outlet by plugging in too many items.

• Never use extension cords over extended periods or as a replacement for permanent wiring. They are designed for short term use only.

• Check extension cords periodically to make sure they have not been damaged.

• Be careful when using household grade extension cord for items that produce heat, such as hair dryers, irons or space heaters. These power-intensive items can cause an extension cord to become hot enough to cause a fire.

• If a breaker continuously trips, contact a licensed electrician to find the cause. If you are in a rental unit, contact your landlord and request that a licensed electrician be called.

About Technical Safety BC

Technical Safety BC is mandated to oversee the safe installation and operation of technical systems and equipment in BC, including passenger ropeways such as ski lifts, gondolas, tramways, rope tows and passenger conveyors.

Technical Safety BC is an independent, self-funded organization mandated to oversee the safe installation and operation of technical systems and equipment. In addition to issuing permits, licences and certificates, it works with industry to reduce safety risks through assessment, education and outreach, enforcement, and research.

Just Posted

Barriere Health Centre renos will require patients to enter from the emergency entrance

Patients are advised that access to the Barriere Health Centre from Nov. 23 to 30 will be through the emergency room doors at the rear of the building

RCMP resort to spike belts to stop vehicle on Highway 5 near Barriere

After numerous complaints were received regarding driver’s behaviour behind the wheel Barriere and Kamloops RCMP use spike belts to stop vehicle

UPDATE: Missing senior couple found

A senior couple from the Lower Mainland have been reported missing

Barriere Secondary School holds Remembrance Day ceremony

Remembrance Day Ceremonies took place at Barriere Secondary (BSS) on Friday, Nov.… Continue reading

Bill Kershaw elected vice-chair of Thompson Nicola Regional District

Barriere resident Bill Kershaw was re-elected in October as the Thompson Nicola… Continue reading

Six students arrested, charged in sex assault probe at Toronto all-boys school

The school’s principal, Greg Reeves, described the video of the alleged sexual assault as ‘horrific’

Jamie Koe, other curlers kicked out of bonspiel for being too drunk

‘You don’t kick around other players’ bags, it’s disrespectful and we expect better of our players’

Homicide victim found under B.C. bridge identified as Hells Angels member

Chad John Wilson was one of four men arrested in Spain in 2013 on allegations of smuggling cocaine.

B.C. Sikh temple vandalized with racist graffiti

Racist graffiti was found on the side of the building this morning

Shots fired near Chicago hospital, multiple victims: police

Police say at least one possible offender has been shot

B.C. to allow Uber-style ride hailing services to operate in late 2019

Fee will be applied to fund options for disabled people

Chocolate lab missing along Coquihalla

Brad Gibson is asking for help locating his missing dog.

B.C. connection to launch of new $10 bill

Great nephew of Viola Desmond says bill is a ‘step in the right direction’

Elections BC keeps eye on Canada Post dispute, but no change in Nov. 30 deadline

Vote No spokesman say an extension of one or two weeks would ensure all ballots are counted

Most Read