Many of the fire outbreaks that happens at homes and offices are said to be by air conditioners. Air conditioner fires continue to be a growing risk as temperatures rise.
ACs rarely just explode but certain things can cause overheating problems which can cause fire. That fire could lead to an explosion of the pressurised gas.
Some other common causes of AC fires are storage of flammables near air conditioners, dirty conditioners and electrical issues.
Two Nigerian celebrities, BBNaija star, JMK, and most recently actress Didi Ekanem had all their valuables go up in flames after their houses caught fire.
This shows that AC fire outbreaks are very common and that there is need to be more cautious be at alert.
Here are 5 ways to keep your home safe from an air conditioner fire.
1. Proper Maintenance of Your Unit
Most people don’t think it is important schedule regular maintenance for their air conditioning thereby taking it for granted.
However, faulty parts can cause unit failures and lead to fire outbreaks.
Doing routine checks of your AC at least once or twice a year by a professional can help reduce the outbreak of a fire and help your AC stay in great shape.
2. Use Proper Wiring and Placement
Most electrical fires result from poor wiring and use sub-standard plugs, sockets, and circuit breakers.
Your AC unit isn’t like a regular household appliance as its electrical loads are much higher than your other appliances, therefore there is need to make it a safety priority.
What to do?
1. Inspect wiring to make sure everything is in order.
2. Never use an extension cord for an air conditioner becauseThe electrical load can cause its insulation to melt and catch fire. An AC should be connected to its circuit.
3. Include surge protectors to prevent excess voltage from causing fires.
4. Connect via circuit breakers so that they shut off if there is a spike thereby protecting your electronic devices.
5. If you repair an older AC unit, make sure the correct gas is being used to refill.
Homeowners should have regular fire protection measures in place as well. This is especially true when using smoke detectors. And be sure your unit isn’t resting on anything sensitive or unstable.
3. Avoid Overuse
People tend to run their AC 24 hours a day, seven days a week especially during the dry season, however, this is risky because this puts a strain on your unit causing overheating and breakdowns leading to a fire.
To be on the safe side, try to reduce the overuse of your unit by giving it some breaks at intervals.
4. Clean Your Unit Regularly
A major cause of AC fire is excess dust and dirt which may have clogged the exterior unit.
Dirt also reduces its ability to transfer heat outside, As a result, your AC will run constantly without shutting off.
Unplug your unit before you do any cleaning. Start by ensuring your air filter is clean. You can clean the fan as well.
Try not to use household cleaners that can damage electrical parts. You should ensure your unit leans slightly out the window as well. You want to prevent rainwater from damaging internal mechanisms.
Better still, call your maintenance team. They will do a thorough job on which you can rely. This spares you some labor and concern about being thorough.
5. Look Out for Warning Signs
Most times, before the AC leads to fire outbreaks, there are usually warning signs it gives.
Call a technician if your AC starts and stops working. Do the same thing if it’s blowing out only hot air using. If your unit isn’t working properly, you shouldn’t be using it.
Any unusual noises such as squealing or grinding could signal that something is wrong.