Electric kettle fire

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afdmello
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Electric kettle fire

Post by afdmello » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:26 pm

Hi Folks,

We had a electric water kettle wire ignite last week. I observed that the electric wire entering into the kettle caught fire. It appears that the wire was damaged and was on its last legs. As soon as it was switched on the high resistance cause it to overheat, ignite and even fly off and land on the counter top and burn itself out.

The kettle was 1500 W rating. and had a short wire and plugged into a receptacle having a GFCI.

What precautions can be instituted to prevent similar incidents

Buying a kettle with a plugged in detachable base so the wires are not subjected to wear and tear due to constant pulling
Instructing workers to always be there and not leave a kettle on.
Test the GFCI regularly.(I observe the GFCI did not work) When GFCI was tested it is functioning well.

Any other would be welcome based on incident learnings

Thanking you,

AFD

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Re: Electric kettle fire

Post by Messy » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:19 pm

afdmello wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:26 pm
It appears that the wire was damaged and was on its last legs.
Not knowing the business you are in or the type of premises involved, of course, I have no idea how much of an issue this is for your organisation. 400 kettles in hotel bedrooms are a bigger concern that 40 kettles across an office building for example

I would suggest that in addition to regular inspections of electrical equipment, merely improving staff awareness training into the dangers of using defective electrical equipment may suffice. How many people don't see an appliance as defective until it stops working - or catches fire? We always include an example (with a photo) of flex in a poor condition in staff training, with advice it should be reported ASAP.

A properly trained workforce can be your eyes and ears in terms of hazard spotting and intervention

Good luck

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Re: Electric kettle fire

Post by bernicarey » Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:02 pm

A GFCI will not trip out in such circumstances.

A GFCI is a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, 'American Speak' for a life protection circuit breaker which detects anomalies in current flow. They are also known as Ground Fault Interrupter (GFI) or Appliance Leakage Current Interrupter (ALCI)
There are design differences in the way they work, but in British English such devices are usually known as ELCB (Earth Leakage Circuit Breaker), RCD (Residual Current Device) or RCCB (Residual Current Circuit Breaker).
Without getting overly technical for those reading, the purpose of the device is to detect when electrical current is flowing to Neutral/Earth via a path other then the designated circuit, i.e. through a person.

So whatever term is used, if there is no leakage away from the designed circuit, it isn't going to Trip.

As afdmello is in Qatar, I'm just hoping the kettle was on a 3 core cable and the whole wiring installation actually includes an Earth installation.
afdmello wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:26 pm
As soon as it was switched on the high resistance cause it to overheat, ignite and even fly off and land on the counter top and burn itself out.
Sorry to contradict you, but a high resistance wouldn't overheat; a low resistance, i.e. a short circuit, is required to get the greater than normal current flow to cause the heat.
Was this on a fused British BS1363 'Type G' plug or an un-fused Type D Plug?
From what I understand, type D and G are both used in Qatar.
https://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeD.htm

In the case in question, the current was apparently going from Live to Neutral in the flex, causing a small fire. Had some of that current also flowed to the earth core in the flex, it would have hopefully caused the GFCI device to trip.



As Messy has said, it is a case of educating employees and any other equipment users, that damage to the flex is not acceptable.
In addition, people who do know how to recognise a damaged flex and can be trusted to inspect electrical equipment, must do regular inspections to detect faulty equipment.
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Re: Electric kettle fire

Post by Essex » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:40 pm

You could install an AFDD which is now a recommendation of BS7671:2018.
Education is the key. A manager should always stand by their team. They employed them.

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Re: Electric kettle fire

Post by bernicarey » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:38 am

Essex wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:40 pm
You could install an AFDD which is now a recommendation of BS7671:2018.
Umm... to quote your reference...
421.1.7; "Arc fault detection devices conforming to BSEN 62606 are recommended as a means of providing additional protection against fire caused by arc faults in AC final circuits".
As I understand it, it is a 'recommendation' with a list of possible design scenarios :
Premises with sleeping accommodation (e.g. a youth hostel)
Locations with a risk of fire due to the nature of stored or processed materials (e.g. barns)
Locations with combustible construction materials (e.g. a building constructed primarily of timber)
Fire propagating structures (e.g. chimney like spaces, lift shafts)
Locations with endangering of irreplaceable goods (e.g. museums)

I don't think these specific scenarios are afdmello's situation.

These AFDD devices do not have a great reputation at present, and are very expensive. I just checked a well known trade supplier website and the only ones they list are £205 each (inc VAT). I would also add that I tried 4 well known wholesalers and that was the only one I found that actually listed them...

As I understand it, in the USA where they presumably originated due to the terrible trailing flex standards they have there, they are known for tripping spuriously due to events such as electric motors in Washers and Dryers arching on the Comm brushes, or perhaps an electric drill or hair dryer being switched on, all of which is unavoidable.
No doubt this is in part due to the wonderful quality standards of manufacture in the usual parts of the Far East. :roll:
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Re: Electric kettle fire

Post by afdmello » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:08 pm

Thank you Bernie for the wealth of information.
It was type D plug.
We have started training the staff on identifying substandard electrical conditions

AFD

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Re: Electric kettle fire

Post by bernicarey » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:34 pm

afdmello wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:08 pm
Thank you Bernie for the wealth of information.
It was type D plug.
We have started training the staff on identifying substandard electrical conditions

AFD
I would estimate that if it had been a Type G / BS1363 Plug, fitted with a correct fuse, even at 13A, it would likely have ruptured during the incident.

I have no idea how Qatar wire their circuits, but I imagine the Fuse/CB on the supply line would be a bit more than 13A.
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