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Topic Title: Electrical Overload caused House Fire
Topic Summary: BBC News article
Created On: 01 February 2013 04:54 PM
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 01 February 2013 04:54 PM
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AdrianWint

Posts: 262
Joined: 25 May 2006

BBC News Article

"Too much demand on the electrical system"

This seems a very weak explaination by the fire brigade.

Now we all know that an overload, in itself, shouldnt cause a fire - it also needs a weakness in the protective system.

I supose that system could have been interferred with for certain 'horticultural' reasons but the item doesn't suggest this..... so what do we think? More to this than we are being told?

Adrian
 01 February 2013 05:00 PM
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AJJewsbury

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Now we all know that an overload, in itself, shouldnt cause a fire - it also needs a weakness in the protective system.

I've seen black "100A" cutouts overheat to the point of melting because they had a long term 70-odd amp load - apparently the black ones are only good to 60A continuous and the 100A rating in only for intermittent loads. I suspect there might be some similar logic in CU bus-bars and internal wiring too.

Does seem like a rather unlikely scenario for a domestic though.

- Andy.
 01 February 2013 05:32 PM
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weirdbeard

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Originally posted by: AdrianWint


"Too much demand on the electrical system"

This seems a very weak explaination by the fire brigade.




Hi adrian, the article doesn't say what you quote above, it says "too much demand on the electricity supply "

Seems to me to suggest the fire was caused by some kind of problem with the suppliers equipment.
 01 February 2013 05:41 PM
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OMS

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I wouldn't read too much into that - it could have been an overload on a first floor lighting circuit setting the loft on fire where the Oxy cylinders were.

You do have to wonder why someone had 7 Oxy bottles in the loft. I guess the saving grace was the DA bottles weren't with them

Regards

OMS

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 01 February 2013 05:50 PM
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weirdbeard

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Originally posted by: OMS

I wouldn't read too much into that - it could have been an overload on a first floor lighting circuit setting the loft on fire where the Oxy cylinders were.

You do have to wonder why someone had 7 Oxy bottles in the loft. I guess the saving grace was the DA bottles weren't with them



I'm not, but am curious how a lighting overload can set fire to a loft?

How many amps can a 1mm T+E take before it will set fire to its surroundings?
 01 February 2013 05:56 PM
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sparkingchip

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Not enough if someone wires a socket to the lighting circuit, but the CPD should operate unless it is disabled.

To quote one customer "When I try to boil the kettle the lights trip off if I use the socket the builders put in for me"

Andy
 01 February 2013 06:02 PM
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John Peckham

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oms

"You do have to wonder why someone had 7 Oxy bottles in the loft."

The house may have been occupied by the welders daughter. As they say , " She was only the welders daughter but she acetylene legs".

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John Peckham

http://www.astutetechnicalservices.co.uk/
 01 February 2013 06:56 PM
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maltrefor

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Originally posted by: John Peckham

oms



"You do have to wonder why someone had 7 Oxy bottles in the loft."



The house may have been occupied by the welders daughter. As they say , " She was only the welders daughter but she acetylene legs".


The usual reason why people have oxygen bottles in a proprty is purely medical. But why would anybody have 7 and store them in a loft!!!

Edited: 01 February 2013 at 07:06 PM by maltrefor
 02 February 2013 01:16 PM
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broadgage

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It might been as simple as a an overloaded/heavily loaded multigang extension lead.
The cheaper ones cant reliably carry a full 13 amps, and certainly cant carry 20 amps which a 13 amp fuse will pass for hours.

Reports by Firemen who are are not electricians, that are then qouted or repeated by reporters with no understanding of electrical equipment are not to be taken too seriously.

I wont trust such reports to distinguish between fixed wiring, portable appliances, and the suppliers equipment.
 02 February 2013 05:37 PM
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slittle

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Quite a few years ago when I worked for a fire and rescue service and before fire investigation is the great science that it is today. It was widely accepted that if there was nothing obvious to cause a domestic blaze then unless the occupants smoked the answer was electrical.

I doubt much has changed ;-)


Stu
 05 February 2013 09:20 AM
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oshta

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Sadly, could well be the case I suppose!
 05 February 2013 09:56 AM
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FizzleBang

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Some years ago, when we lived in our first house, a house two doors away suffered a bad fire. No one was hurt. The official finding was that it had an "electrical cause"

Two points to note: I knew the consulting electrical engineer (note: not an electrician) who carried out an inspection of the property afterwards and he'd found no suspicious wiring.

But before that, on the night of the fire I'd heard the neighbour between us and the the fire house clattering about some time before the "event"
He was, shall we say, a character... He had more issues than the Radio Times.

As the fire engines arrived I said to the MD "Ey up, what's Basher been up to now?"
Lot's of cloak and dagger stuff followed but I know the sound of a jerry can being whizzed along the footpath when I hear it. No one ever doubted what had gone on. A couple of years later a friendly policeman "let slip" that the issue had been settled out of court....

So what I'm saying is that it was arson yet the authorities found it better to call it an electrical fire.

Basher moved to Spain to run a bar soon after....mind how you go.

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the name of something and knowing something". - Richard P. Feynman
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