A little step for electrical security… a little step for electrical fires!

The Armstrong adage does not apply to legislative measures concerning electric standards and their impact on triggering of fires… If new regulatory measures to reinforce electrical security are constantly flourishing, they are still inadequate. Electrical fires still represent today a third of fires in France. 

If there are not precise statistics on this matter, the National Observatory for Electrical Security (ONSE) estimates at about 30% electrical fires. In the framework of our usual loss adjustment for the research of fire causes, we find out, too often, some non-conformities: bad protections, obsolete installations, contact tightening problems, electrical facilities installed or repaired by a friend of a friend… all of this creates a good cocktail that usually degenerates in a fire!

To reduce financial consequences of these losses and human dramas, standards and regulatory measures are regularly implemented.

 

New real diagnosis starting 1st July 2017

As such, a new mandatory real diagnosis, issued from the law ALUR, will have to be attached to lease contracts starting from 1st July 2017 for houses located in multiple dwelling. For other homes and if they have been built more than 15 years ago, this diagnosis will be applicable starting on 1st January.

This diagnosis aims at informing the occupants of a house about the anomalies that can represent a danger, verifying, in particular, the accessibility of the general command device or even the adaptation of protection devices against overcurrent in the section of the circuits they protect. It adds to diagnosis entered into force in 2009 for the selling of houses that allowed to highlight that 2 thirds of houses more than 15 years old did not stick to regulations. So, among these houses, 60% presented a risk of direct contact with elements under tension and 50% of obsolete materials. Unfortunately, new regulations and regulatory measures regard new houses and we can only regret, in case of anomalies detected through diagnosis, the absence of obligation for the owner to do the work. Electrical fires still have a long life ahead…

 

Laurent SPANO, Construction Loss Adjuster

Nicolas PATRIS, Fire risk Loss Adjuster