White Paper Residential Electrical Safety
Statistics from a number of European countries reveal that electrical fires account for 25 – 30% of all domestic fires, an increase of 5 – 10% in the last 10 years. The total number of fires of electrical origin in the EU is estimated to be 273,000 per year. Their consequences are dramatic in terms of fatalities, injuries and the economic cost to society.
In the past 120 years, electricity has become the predominant energy source in our everyday life. Its applications have improved our comfort and safety, multiplying the means of entertaining and communicating. However, domestic electricity can be dangerous. Specifically, the safety of older electrical installations is a concern in the countries of the European Union, given the low renovation rate of dwellings and their electrical installations. At the same time, the uses of domestic electricity continue to diversify and develop, posing increasingly important challenges in terms of quality and safety.
The safety deficiencies of obsolete electrical installations generally result from the aging of their components, the lack of maintenance and inappropriate usage. The dangers they represent are also clearly identified. The risks of electrification and electrocution are well known and reduced during last decades, but fires of electrical source and their consequences are the most worrying today.