Fires of electrical origin
In Europe 2.000.000 fires are reported each year, which represent more than 4000 deaths, and 70000 people hospitalized due to severe injuries. On average, 90% of fires in EU happen in buildings (www.firesafeeurope.eu). Electricity is a very regularly identified cause of domestic fires. In homes, 280000 electrical fires occur each year (www.promotelec.com).
Depending on the country and the investigation methods, but also depending on the means of identification, the proportions of electrical fires are:
- 13 % in the United States (www.nfpa.org);
- 25 % in France (www.promotelec.com)
- 33 % in Germany (www.ifs-kiel.de);
- 40 % in Norway (www.sintef.no).
Electrical fires in low voltage installation may be caused by
- Overcurrents (overloads and short circuits): see Chapter Sizing and protection of conductors
- earth faults: see Protection against fire due to earth faults ,
- electric arcs in cables and connections: see Protection against arc faults in cables and connections (AFDD).
- or overvoltages (lightning … ) see Chapter Overvoltage protection,
Note: Electric arcs in assembly are addressed in chapter LV Distribution
- For more information on electrical fire origins, and the latest solutions to mitigate the risks, download the Electrical Fire Prevention Guide (PDF)