Wednesday, May 06, 2009: 04:32:15 PM

Safety

WIRED SAFELY

Electrical wiring is an important feature of a structure built for human occupancy. International Copper Promotion Council (India) presents the ‘best practices in house wiring’

For most urban residents in a country like India, housing is a costly investment. For this reason, quality construction, which involves basic parameters are internal and external cosmetic appearances, should be given importance. The use of high quality construction materials ensures that all the aspects of a structure endure the test of time. Santosh Konnur, the Program Manager Building Wiring, explains, “A building has only two dynamic forces, namely electricity and water, while the rest of the material is static. Hence, it is logical that electrical installation and plumbing are the important means of enhancing the life of a structure and, most importantly, the electrical wiring. The irony is that these areas are the most ignored considering that they are concealed behind the walls and hence attract the least attention.” It is important to note that a majority of fire accidents are caused by electrical short circuits, hence it is important to follow safe wiring practices to avoid fire accidents and loss of life and property.



With economic growth, the improved standard of living of an average Indian household has also increased our dependence on electricity in our daily life. This means that today a typical household has more appliances running on electrical current than ever before. The common trend in urban India is an increase in high-rise residential construction and a consequence rise in the density of population per square foot. Considering these facts, importance should be given to electrical wiring and safe wiring practices should be followed to avoid fire accidents. At present, home owners in India are not involved in the decision-making processes related to electrical wiring due to the concealed nature of the application and their limited knowledge. Home owners tend to focus more on paint, electrical accessories, plumbing accessories, etc. But considering the importance of electrical wiring for the overall safety of the household, it is important for home owners to get involved and ensure that good wiring practices are followed by the developers/contractors.

Key steps to ensure safer wiring and
 safer homes

  • The National Building Code of India recommends that only copper wiring should be used.
  • Use copper wires made of pure copper (electrolytic) only for optimum current carrying capacity. You can ensure this by buying cables of reputed brands that are ISI-marked.
  • Use multi-stranded copper wires for greater flexibility and strength.
  • The National Building Code of India recommends the use of a minimum of 1.5 sq mm copper wires.
  • Wiring specifications
  • For light electrical loads (tube-lights, fans, etc) that are less than 250 Watts, use 1.5-sq mm copper wires.
  • For medium electrical loads (TV, refrigerator, computer, music system, etc) between 250 to 1,000 Watts, use 2.5-sq mm copper wires.
  • For medium heavy electrical loads (airconditioners, geysers, grinders, washing machines, ovens, etc) between 1,000 and 3,000 Watts, always use 4-sq mm copper wires.
  • Ensure that the electrical points are properly planned in the house not only for present use but also for future applications. When more plugs are connected to one point, it results in the cables drawing cumulative current of all the appliances connected to that point resulting in overloading and short circuit.
  • Ensure correct planning and designing of the electrical circuit.
  • Ensure that every room has an independent circuit.
  • Keep higher load gadgets in separate circuits like AC, geyser, heater, iron, etc.
  • Isolate each major circuit and connect it to a miniature circuit breaker (MCB).
  • Circuits should be further sub-distributed for each room.
  • Follow right earthing practices to avoid electric shocks.
  • Use copper wires, plates and rods for earthing as galvanised iron plates and rods tend to corrode and disintegrate.

International Copper Promotion Council India (ICPCI) promotes safe wiring practices among key decision makers and installers of the construction industry. These decision makers comprise those in the government and private sectors including builders, architects, electrical consultants, electrical contractors, electricians and chief electrical engineers of various government departments across the country through seminars, training programmes and direct mailers. The Indian construction industry is plagued with a shortage of skilled and trained labour. It is estimated that a majority of the electricians working in India have never undergone a formal training. Most of them have acquired their skills through practice on the job with an experienced electrician. This situation holds good today for various other services such as plumbing, carpentry, masonry, etc. Working on electrical safety will be meaningless in the long term unless this basic question is addressed by the authorities immediately through various measures.

This problem does not have a short-term answer, but a long-term strategy needs to be developed by the authorities. Electrical trade and potential employment prospects should be propagated among unemployed youth in the urban and rural areas, and they should be urged to enrol for training at the Industrial Training Institutes. On the market side, they need to ensure that only certified electricians can undertake wiring assignments. At the same time, the government should not ignore the existing untrained electricians in the market. This segment should be given a chance to improve their performance through skill upgradation programmes across all the cities along the lines of those conducted by the National Academy of Construction of Hyderabad. These electricians should be certified to ensure their employability. Such long-term strategies will help to deal with the unemployment issues plaguing our country, ensure quality construction, avoid any waste that might occur and increase productivity of this segment. Across the developed world, only a licensed construction worker is allowed to undertake services in this sector. With economic growth and the resulting increase in the standard of living, it is imperative to have skilled electricians who can effectively handle wiring.

To support this crisis of trained manpower shortage, ICPCI conducts seminars across the country in over 200 cities and towns. These seminars are aimed at educating contractors and electricians on the best installation practices and electrical safety aspects in house wiring. During 2007, ICPCI addressed over 2,20,000 people through 350 events held in nine different languages. Apart from this, they have also been in touch with over 20,000 builders, architects and consultants through direct mailing exercises. ICPCI has developed a detailed handbook on best wiring practices to simplify electrical wiring in the house. Apart from this, ICPCI has developed audio-visual training aids outlining the various installation practices in nine languages to reach out to electrical contractors and electricians in their local languages. In the past, ICPCI has also worked with Public Works Department of Maharashtra, Central Railways and Kolkatta Fire Brigade to spread awareness on electrical safety amongst the public during the annual safety week.

Courtesy: ICPCI


Rate me....
Mail this article Mail this article Print this article Print this article

Contribute/ Share your Opinion

More

Page 1 of 1

    Page 1 of 1



Search

Keywords:
Sections:

Magazine Issues

Events

logo Other Times Group Sites: