Most Common Cause of Electric Fire

According to the DKI Jakarta Fire and Safety Agency (Gulkarmat), there were 804 fire cases from 2018 to 2020 and 60% of them were cases due to electrical short circuits throughout 2021 there were also 5274 fire cases due to electrical short circuits that occurred in Indonesia according to the Director General of Development Regional Administration of the Ministry of Home Affairs Safrizal ZA.

From the above data, it can be concluded that the electrical network has the potential to cause fires. This can occur in static electrical objects such as power lines or in moving objects such as pumps or rotors. Fires caused by electricity usually occur due to electrical networks or objects that produce heat that exceeds their resistance limits so that they can burn the network or electricity itself. Fires can also be caused by electrical networks that act as ignition sources (heat sources) in areas that have flammable objects such as flammable gas or other flammable materials.

It is undeniable that electrical fires can occur anywhere as a result of electrical networks that are everywhere, especially in houses or other buildings such as office buildings, hotels, or other buildings. Therefore, to avoid fires caused by the electricity network, the government has issued special rules relating to electrical installations in houses and other buildings that must be followed. These rules are made to avoid mistakes in the planning, installation, and maintenance of electrical networks that can cause potential fires.

The Directorate General of Electricity, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, officially enacts Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Regulation No. 36 of 2014 concerning the Indonesian National Standard (SNI) concerning General Requirements for Electrical Installation 2011 (PUIL 2011) and amendment 1 as mandatory standards. The published PUIL 2011 is a revision of PUIL 2000 which has been used as a guideline for electrical installations. PUIL 2011 will then be used as a guideline for inspecting and testing installations worthy of operation (SLO) in buildings.

In addition to SNI regarding electrical installations in buildings made by Indonesia, international institutions such as the National Institute for Fire Protection (NFPA) also issue rules regarding the planning, installation, and maintenance of electricity contained in the NFPA 70 National Electrical Code.

Because the most incidents of electrical fires occur as a result of installation errors and the use of the electricity network itself, there are many things that must be considered before installing an electrical network, especially in buildings that have a high fire rate.

Following are some electrical installation design guidelines according to PUIL 2011.

  1. Initial verification is a verification to test the feasibility of electrical installations prior to operation. This test is carried out to see whether the electrical installation meets PUIL requirements.
  2. Periodic verification is a verification that is carried out periodically, namely within 10 – 15 years after installation in accordance with the Regulation of the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources no 05 of 2014 concerning Procedures for Accreditation and Certification of Electricity.
  3. Determination of the maximum demand of a branch or circuit, this determination must be made in accordance with PUIL 2011 or the latest edition with consideration according to the type of building and the amount of load that will be connected to the electricity network.
  4. Limiting the electrical load using a Miniature Circuit Breaker (MCB), this limitation is enforced by PLN so that the current and power flowing in a building can be adjusted to the needs of the user. The use of the MCB must also be paid close attention to, especially the specifications of the MCB and the power cables used because it will affect the ability of the MCB to cut off the current if there is an excess current from the PLN source.

Having good quality electrical network cable specifications must also be of great concern because as a result of electric currents that cause heat, cables with low quality can catch fire and cause other objects around it to catch fire.

Thus, the discussion regarding the most influential causes of electrical fires and their relation to the electricity regulations that apply in Indonesia. It should be remembered that the process of planning, installing, and using electricity is heavily influenced by the rules that apply in the standard requirements so it is very important to adapt all the processes to the applicable requirements such as PUIL 2011 (or the latest edition) and other applicable regulations.

Written by : Aulia Rahma Dhany

Source : 

Buku Pedoman PUIL 2011


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