4 Massive Electrical Fires and The Lessons They Teach

Each year, more than 1,100 people are injured and 310 people killed by home electrical fires. These fires result from both large electrical system failures and homeowner errors such as the improper use of extension cords or overloading circuits. Most electrical fires can be avoided if you only take the proper safety precautions. For any other cases, having the proper planning and safety equipment in place can help avoid deaths and injuries. Take a look at the following electrical fires and the lessons that resulted from each.

1. Install Sprinklers

The MGM Grand in Las Vegas suffered a huge electrical fire in 1980 that injured 700 people and killed 87. This fire spread quickly through wallpaper, plastic mirrors and other flammable materials throughout the entire 26 story building. The majority of all deaths were from toxic fumes and smoke. If the casino had an automatic sprinkler system in the casino area of the building, it could have stopped the fire from spreading the way it did. If you are moving into a high-rise building, or staying in a hotel, make sure they have sprinkler systems.

2. Have an Evacuation Plan – An apartment building in London caught on fire in 2009 as a result of an electrical fault in an outdated portable television. Although the fire began on the 9th floor, all victims were on the 11th floor, with many being rescued. One of the biggest complaints of survivors was that the apartment design was similar to that of a maze, making it difficult for them to get out of. It is for this reason that you should inspect make a plan for any and all escape routes from where you live. In addition to this, plan a safe meeting space outdoors to ensure that you can quickly find family after you have escaped.

3. Install and Maintain Your Smoke Alarms

In 1967, a department store in Belgium caught on fire, killing 322 people. Although the fire is commonly attributed to anti-American arson, the reports have shown that it was the result of an electrical fault. Whatever the cause of the fire, it can be seen as a simple lesson in fire safety. The shoppers that were in the store received no warning from smoke alarms and there were very few fire extinguishers to be found. Install smoke alarms in your home and regularly ensure that they are in good working order. They could eventually save your life.

4. Be Careful at Christmas

Four people were killed after an electrical fire ignited a Christmas tree in 2007. Unfortunately, this is a fairly common occurrence. If you have a live Christmas tree, make sure to choose a fresh tree and keep it water. Also avoid overloading extension cords and regularly inspect your lighting for damage. Finally, unplug all lights before going to bed or leaving your home.

Although these fires were very tragic, it is important to learn from the mistakes that were made in either causing the fire or reacting to it. With a few simple precautions and the proper planning, most fires can be either avoided or survived.

Qualifications Needed To Be An Electrician

There is several different types of electricians. We are talking about those who design and work on electrical systems. With an ever rising population and more gadgets drawing electrical power the possibilities of electrically powered cars, employment prospects for a qualified electrician has never been better. New laws are being passed by government to safeguard people and properties against the harm that electricity can do. Which means the requirement for qualified electricians are set to improve even further in the near future. So, this is a great time to obtain proper qualifications to be an electrician and begin a profitable profession within the field of electricity.

Work overview:

Electricians can work with electrical companies or be self-employed. The type of job that you can perform depends greatly on the training and knowledge you have. The scope of job varies from the installation of complex electrical systems in buildings, to simple maintenance and electrical repairs in homes. Qualified electricians can work alone or be a member of a team. They also work both outdoors and indoors.

Becoming qualified to be an electrician:

Should you want to be a certified electrician in the UK, the initial thing to do is to enroll in an electrical apprenticeship program. In order to be accepted, you will need to possess the following requirements:

A General Certificate of Education in English, Science, and Maths at grade C or higher level. The skill to read and understand technical blueprints will certainly be a plus factor. After completion of this entry level, the advanced apprenticeship program is next. It usually takes around 4 years to finish the advanced program and it includes classroom type lessons to learn the theories of electricity and associated subjects along with on-the-job trainings in a company where the theories you’ve learned will be applied in the real environment. Upon completion of the apprenticeship program, you should have achieved a National Vocational Qualification at Level 3

Other ways to become an electrician:

For individuals who are already in another profession and want to become a qualified electrician, you might opt for electrical courses which may be taken during your free time. To possess the necessary qualifications of an electrician you will need to gain a certificate for installing, inspecting, and testing electrics under BS7671 and/or the City and Guilds 2382 or 2391.

Valuable qualities of an electrician:

An electrician needs to be systematic, capable of following plans and implementing them to ensure that the project meets current safety standards. An honest, reliable, punctual and trustworthy individual, who is a good problem solver and will not resort to taking shortcuts or sacrificing quality.

Having said all of that I have to point out that whenever you will want to hire an electrician you should always ask to view proof of their certificates. As in any trade there are a great deal of good electricians around but there are also some bad ones. Be cautious, it could wind up costing you a lot of money.

Wall Mounts For Plasma TVs

TV wall mounts are most commonly used for fixing LCD and Plasma TV’s onto a wall. Of course, the older style box television set may also be wall-mounted. In case you are interested in this type of TV wall mount then you would possibly be happier just looking for advice or even a contractor to help you install wall cabinets or shelving to put it in. Usually, there’s a technique to cunningly hide any necessary wiring for that box set TV. You could hire an electrician to run extra wiring through the walls to your television, but most homeowners do not like to pay substantially more for the TV installation than the TV itself.

Two of the primary skills necessary for installing a LCD or Plasma TV wall mount will be the talent to locate one or more wall stud to fix it to. You will also need a working understanding of home electrics. If you are feeling at ease running wiring for the power cables and video feeds then by all means do it yourself. When you know the way to find wall studs and possess basic carpentry skills you might hire an electrician to run the cables for you and then proceed yourself to complete the project on your own. Otherwise, it’s probably best to hire one contractor who can perform both jobs together.

One of the only variances between a Plasma TV and LCD (liquid crystal display) TV, so far as installation goes is, a mid-sized LCD is considerably lighter than its Plasma counterpart. This implies that for a small or mid-sized LCD you’ll be able to get away with fixing the mount to just one wall stud, although you’ll still need to tie down the other end with some kind of anchor.

Naturally, you’ll still have a couch or some furniture installed for those times when all you want to do is chill out in front of the TV. On the other hand, you can also put some bookshelves up or leave the area open and put your furniture around your wall mounted TV should you want your room to imitate a home theater. Of course, the older style box TV set can also be wall-mounted.

Create an area where you can actually chill out!

Plasma TVs have been a more trendy choice for homeowners because of the superior brightness, a wider viewing angle, plus a broader color spectrum. However, just recently, LCD technology has begun to catch up and its lighter weight display is one trait in which the LCD is, in fact, superior. Market analysts are now starting to see LCD televisions overtake their Plasma counterparts.

Customize your room and your TV wall mount:

One of the best things about TV wall mounts is just the space they save within your home, but the increased versatility they offer to your interior decorating ideas is huge. For instance, if you’re worried about your new television dominating your free time and blunting conversation with guests, put an extra chair or two below the television. All the guests may sit down to enjoy each other’s company, but if the lounge furniture is all pointed in the direction of the new, TV then a lull in the conversation may result in withdrawing to a digital anesthetic.