Study: The electrical safety behaviour of Estonian residents leaves much to be desired
According to the Estonian Rescue Board, 164 building fires have started due to electricity this year, which forces us to again refer to the dangers related to electricity during this heating season.
This year, 12 buildings have been set on fire in Estonia due to incorrect use of electrical equipment, 45 fires started due to a fault in electrical equipment and 104 fires were caused by a fault in the building's electrical system.
Jaak Jõgi, Head of the Estonian Market at Eesti Energia, emphasizes that in order to prevent the next tragic fires, everyone must make sure that their homes’ electrical systems are safe or whether they can notice dangerous situations that could lead to major accidents.
According to him, often the source of danger comes from outdated electrical systems, extension cords or multisocket plugs, which are used to keep powerful electrical equipment in operation.
“Before the starting to use of electric fans and radiators, attention must be paid to the condition of the entire electrical system. In older buildings, the electrical system may be outdated and the wiring may not be designed to transfer high capacities for modern equipment. If the capacity of the wiring is not very high, there is a risk of overload and overheating, and in the worst case, a fire may occur,” Jõgi explains.
According to the survey carried out by the research company Nielsen this year, only one in three Estonians has at least one fire extinguishing device at home, and only half of the respondents unplug their equipment when leaving home for a longer period.
As many as 59% of the respondents admitted that an electrician has never visited their home to check the electrical system.
“No matter how careful you are, it is not possible to prevent all accidents, and we are concerned about the fact that almost half of Estonian homes are uninsured. This means that without insurance cover, you have to pay the costs yourself in the event of an accident, which can be unaffordable for many. The average financial loss in a building fire was 12,590 euros last year,” Jõgi adds.
If there is an unexpected need to start using electric heating, it is recommended to call in a qualified specialist to inspect the electrical system, who will give advice and perform the necessary electrical work safely and thoughtfully.
"All electrical systems age over time, so regular inspections are justified in any case. In addition, you have to act safely with electricity on a daily basis, take care of the availability of fire extinguishing equipment, and you could insure your home against damage in order to find additional peace of mind,” Jõgi notes.