The Dangers of HVAC Fires

Many properties around the UK own air conditioning units. However, did you know that heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems pose a threat to your property? It is essential that HVAV fires must be avoided to prevent injuries and damages in the workplace.

In order to protect against potential fires in HVAC systems- which pose low risks but can cause major damage or loss if they happen at all- monitor these factors closely so that no fire hazard arises.

 

Leaking Gas Line

Leaking fuel lines are a major cause of air conditioning unit fires. Without performing regular maintenance on your A/C system, you may not be able to spot leaks before they become big problems. The danger of a fire is even greater in an A/C unit because they are usually filled with substances that can easily catch on flame. This includes oil, gas, and petroleum products as well. The mixture of flammable material and heat increases the chance of a dangerous fire to occur.

Electrical Connections

The most common cause of HVAC failure and fires is bad electrical connections. Old, loose wires are easy targets for burning due to their high demand on power. With the need for constant power, the wires begin to be burnt and exposed, which can cause a dangerous fire. Usually before this occurs, homeowners tend to smell burning plastic or smoke.

Overheated Air Conditioner

In the summer months, as air conditioners are turned on more frequently, the risk of fires is more than ever. While electrical problems are usually the cause of air conditioning unit fires, overheating can also happen due to mechanical or other issues. For instance, if motor bearings don’t have enough lubricant they may overheat and result in a possible fire hazard for homeowners.

Another issue can be dirt and debris build-up in your air conditioner. This can insulate its motor or create friction which leads to overheating. They may also block airflow leading the fan to work harder than necessary for cooling purposes

Likewise, a dirty air filter can prevent airflow and overtax the blower motor. Anything that makes the motor have to work even harder can lead to overheating. If there is flammable debris near the overheated motor, that makes the situation even worse.

As air conditioner units get older over time, they are more prone to fires because the motors will eventually degrade and wear out. This is an additional reason to consider replacing your older unit before it breaks down completely.

Crowded Furnace

You may not be aware of it but stuffing your A/C system with junk can really hurt its performance. A cluttered environment creates more of a risk and danger of a fire happening. Junk around the AC unit like boxes, cleaning equipment etc is hazardous because the unit can catch fire damaging not just the A/C unit but a majority of the building,  if  caught on fire. To prevent this, make sure that all nonessential equipment is kept away from the unit. Clean chemicals that may react to heat or catch fire as well.

 

How to Prevent This?

At FPC, we have a wide range of HVAC fire safety products to prevent a fire from happening in the workplace and at home.

Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are one of, if not the most popular choice against fires. Portable fire extinguishers are an essential part of any building’s safety equipment. They’re portable, making them easy to use if there is a fire.

As fire extinguishers are portable, this means they’re easy to move around and can be quickly moved to the scene of the blaze, offering a reliable protection source against the fire. Depending on the workplace you work in, there are many types of fire extinguishers available to suit your workplace.

When a fire does occur, not only does the smoke harm your lungs, making it harder to breath, but it can also cause long-term damage to your eye, especially uncontrolled fires. Fires can have a devastating effect on our environment, releasing greenhouse gasses and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that cause knock on effects for global warming. This destruction not only affects wildlife but can also make people sick.

When using a portable fire extinguisher to get rid of a fire early on, this reduces the number of harmful pollutants into the air. Whilst reducing the amount of water required to fight the fire, this helps to improve and minimise the impact on the environment.

Fire Blankets

Fire blankets are beneficial in the workplace. If something was to suddenly burst into flames, simply throwing a fire blanketon the item on fire will get rid of the oxygen,smothering the fire. In the kitchen where a fire is most likely to occur, keeping a fire blanket on hand is a great way to reduce the risk of the spread of a fire.

However, you should not use a fire blanket for cooking oils or cooking fat fires, only fire extinguishers will help. If electrical appliances in the kitchen like microwaves etc, then a fire blanket is a good choice.

 

Contact us

Here at FPC, we are a family-run business that supplies fire-protection equipment across the UK. With over 30 years of industry knowledge and experience, we ensure all our products are all in accordance with the British Standard and safety is never compromised. Ensuring the nation is safe from the danger of fires is our goal.

We are at the forefront of fire safety development and offer an extensive range of speciality products, designed by us to meet your needs. To find out more in-depth information about the other HVAC products we have, contact us today we are more than happy to help.

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