1. 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 to Tanesco 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 to Tanesco distribution lines in buildings
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.
2. 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. In Tanesco transmission lines are of 66,000 Voltage (66 kV), 132,000 voltage (132 kV) and 220,000 Voltage (220 kV) lines.
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)
Type of accidents occurring in transmission lines
Electrocution of people and other living creatures
Hit by falling steel towers, conductors, etc
Social and economic accidents. E.g. blackouts, loss of revenue to Tanesco and the nation
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. In Tanesco distribution lines are of 33,000 Voltage (33 kV), 11,000 voltage (11 kV) and 400 Voltage (0.4 kV) lines.
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),
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
Damage of electrical appliances
Hit by falling poles, conductors, etc
Social and economic accidents. E.g. blackouts, loss of revenue to Tanesco, consumers and the nation
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.
Push him or her away using bad conductors of electricity e.g. a piece of dry wood. Be very careful as you could as well endanger your life.
Inform nearby TANESCO office for any electrical related accident, please inform the nearby TANESCO office.
Call for help to rush the victim to the hospital.