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Ecclesiastical Insurance reminds property owners that electrical fires can be a covert menace

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TORONTO, Aug. 01, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Colin Robertson, Vice President, Operations and Risk Control for Ecclesiastical Insurance points out that "Electrical fires are extremely dangerous because they often start undetected in concealed spaces and by the time you see smoke, the space behind your walls can be fully engulfed."

For example, an overheating wall mounted electric exhaust fan resulted in significant fire damage to a church in Oakville, Ontario — a timely reminder to all that the electric charge flowing into a property through electric circuits carries enough power to cause devastating and often irreversible property damage, electric shock, burn, serious personal injury and even death.

Common electrical hazards found in buildings include:

  • old or poor wiring
  • loose connectors
  • storing combustible materials in electrical rooms
  • using extension cords which are susceptible to mechanical damage and wear and tear
      •  extension cords introduce a trip hazard; and
      •  the breakdown of the insulation material can result in overheating and fire
  • lack of preventive devices such as polarized plugs, three-pronged outlets, and fault circuit interrupters

Regular maintenance of electrical systems will keep them in good operating condition, and if issues are found, they can be repaired before problems arise. Ecclesiastical recommends adopting these best practices for ensuring electrical safety:

  • keep electrical rooms cool, clean, dry and free of combustible materials
  • install permanent outlets in places where you are currently using multi point adaptors
  • purchase appliances featuring an automatic shut-off
  • unplug kettles, coffee makers, toasters, electric heaters, exhaust fans etc. when not in use
  • only use electrical heaters that have been approved by a recognized testing agency such as Canadian Standards Association International (CSA) or Underwriters' Laboratories of Canada (ULC)
  • protect computers, sound systems and other valuable electronic equipment with surge protection devices
  • avoid overheating by ensuring that each piece of equipment has enough space around it so that air can circulate freely.
  • restrict access to electrical rooms

To request a copy of Ecclesiastical Insurance's Electrical Safety Bulletin and Checklist email swebster@eccles-ins.com.

About Ecclesiastical Insurance

Founded in the UK in 1887 and with offices in Canada since 1972, Ecclesiastical Insurance is a specialist insurance provider. Working closely with the national independent broker network, Ecclesiastical provides customized insurance solutions and services to faith organizations, retirement communities, education facilities, arts and culture institutions, funeral service providers, and registered charities and non-profit groups.

Contact

Colin Robertson
Vice President, Operations and Risk Control, Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc

1-416-484-3984 | crobertson@eccles-ins.com | www.ecclesiastical.ca

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