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Incorrect AC maintenance main reason for home fires, experts say.

Dubai: Fire investigation officers at the General Department of Forensic Science and Criminology affirmed that one of the main causes of house fires is incorrect maintenance of air conditioning systems.

They added that negligence of routine AC and portable split unit maintenance also poses a fire risk.

Expert Mohammad Ahmad Abu Itta said that 12 out of the 26 house fires reported during July and August 2012 were caused by portable split units.

During July, 38 per cent of fires were caused by an AC malfunction, he said, there was 13 fires in residential apartments and villas, five of which were caused by an air conditioning system.

As for August, Abu Itta said that there were 13 instances of home fires, of which seven were caused by an AC unit, making the percentage 54.

He indicated the main reason for AC fires is that there are unsafe manual connections between the AC unit and the main power source feeding the AC.

Another problem he said, is the different types of metals in the cables used to connect the AC, for example he said, the cables from the house's electric source is made of copper and the extension from outside the house to the AC is made of aluminium.

The unsafe connection and the difference in cable metals can lead to the overheating of the cable at the meeting point of the two metals, and burning the cable's insulation material as well as the AC components surrounding it.

Abu Itta urged people to routinely maintain their ACs and go to licensed, trusted AC maintenance companies. He also urged people to turn off the AC in empty rooms.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Aug 28, 2012
Words:292
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