Friday, 17 February 2017

Electrical cables & wires: uncertified and substandard items are dangerous!

Deadly live wires: Mohamed Idris showing electrical cables, a smartphone power adapter, a portable charger and an electrical socket splitter that do not carry Sirim labels.

GEORGE TOWN: Consumers are at risk of home fires or being electrocuted because an alarming number of electrical products not certified by Sirim Bhd are being sold openly, claims the Consumer Association of Penang (CAP).

CAP president S.M. Mohamed Idris said items like current converters, power adapters, chargers for computers and rechargeable batteries should be regulated as they handle electricity supplies at 240 volts and are potential explosives or could be fire hazards.

He expressed shock that the List of Regulated Electrical Equipment drafted by the Energy Commission (EC) does not include many common products.

“Even most electric cables do not have either EC or Sirim approval,” he said in a press conference at CAP’s office in Jalan Masjid Negeri yesterday.

He said the Electrical and Electronics Association of Malaysia (TEEAM) recently warned that many everyday electric cables in the market are made from poor quality materials.

“These substandard electric cables are prone to overheating and catching fire,” he said.

Mohamed Idris said despite stringent regulations, they find it surprising that electrical goods without EC or Sirim approval are being imported.

He urged EC and Sirim to review and expand their list of regulated products. “Authorities should also raid the market for electrical products that carry fake EC or Sirim certification,” he added. - The Star


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Ensure electrical cables are Sirim approved, homeowners told


PETALING JAYA: Homeowners should check the type of electrical cables used in their houses to ensure no substandard wires are installed.

Substandard cables are likely to cause fire-related accidents, said The Electrical and Electronics Association of Malaysia vice president Stan Lim.

“There is a huge price difference between high quality cables and those of poor quality, so owners should first check the quotation to see if the price is too good to be true.

“During renovations, for example, they should check the wiring material themselves and make sure they are approved by Sirim,” he said when contacted.

Sirim is a national organisation that determines standards and quality of products.

Lim explained that common conductors for electrical cables consisted of copper and aluminium, but substandard wires contained other metals.

Because of that, electrical conductivity through substandard cables would be poor, eventually leading to overheating and fire.

“Substandard cables do not go through stringent checks like the quality ones.

“They are not designed, constructed, test-approved, installed or used in accordance with the right standards and specification,” he said.

Lim also urged consumers to only engage contractors who were certified by the Energy Commission or a government authority, as there were unscrupulous contractors looking to make quick money.

“Industry players need to uphold ethical practices, and ensure that they only use certified products for their clients.

“Homeowners should also be vigilant, as wrongly executed wiring or extension can cause overload and heating, which could start a fire,” he said.

The Star highlighted recently on the need to avoid using substandard cables, which, according to Lim, were already flooding the market.

At the time, Lim advised houseowners to also test the residual circuit breaker every month.

“Open up the board, look for the button with the “T” and test it every month by pressing the button.

“If it causes the electricity to trip, then it is working. Then, push it back. If it is not working, it will need to be replaced,” he said.

Related stories:

Substandard cables can cause fire in homes, says association

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PETALING JAYA: Houseowners have been advised to ensure that the electrical cables they use in their homes meet the required standards because substandard cables can cause fires.

The advice comes from the Electrical and Electronics Association of Malaysia (TEEAM), which cautions that a lot of poor quality material has flooded the market.

“The common conductors for electrical cable are mainly made of copper and aluminum but some of the substandard wires are made of other metal.

“If other materials are used instead of the two, the electrical conductivity is not good and this will lead to overheating and fire,” said association vice-president Stan Lim in an interview.

Lim said substandard cables were not designed, constructed, test-approved, installed or used in accordance with the prescribed standards and specification.

On Monday, four people died in a fire which razed a double-storey terrace house in Subang Jaya.

Lim said that people should use cables that are certified and professionally recognised for the specific application and avoid using undersized and non-Sirim approved cables. Sirim is a national organisation that determines standards and quality of products.

He advised those doing house renovations to use contractors certified by the Energy Commission or a government authority.

A wiring or electrical extension plan that was not done properly could cause an overload and heating, and trigger a fire.

A spokesman from the Selangor Fire and Rescue Department was reported as saying that the department was alerted about the incident at Jalan USJ 2/3 at about 5.30am and 80% of the house was completely burnt by the time they arrived.

Lim also said houseowners should also test the residual circuit breaker every month.

“Open up the board, look for the button with the “T” and test it every month by pressing the button.

“If it causes the electricity to trip, then it is working. Then, push it back. If it is not working, it will need to be replaced,” he said.

Standards Users Association of Malaysia CEO Ratna Devi said that the cable industry had revealed that copper wires are now expensive and some of the imported ones used uncertified mixed materials, with compromised insulation properties or fake certification.

“These are fire hazards because they cannot conduct electricity well. Consumers often are not aware of this as they did not buy the cables for their homes. So, for renovations, they need to ensure that they use a licensed contractor for wiring,” she said.

Ratna said consumers should also make sure that any electrical appliance they buy is certified and should have the Energy Commission and Sirim’s sticker on it.

http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/02/09/substandard-cables-can-cause-fire-in-homes-says-association/~/media/dc1ef24442034b63b72397fd309ec875.ashx


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