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Apr 17, 2019

The Hazards of Illegal Wirings

Orin Smith

The Rose Lane fire brings into sharp focus the electrical risks that homeowners take when they provide an ‘illegal drop’ of electricity to adjacent properties. For some time now, the National Fire Service, as well as Belize Electricity Limited, has been warning residents of the hazards of illegal wirings at their homes. This fire, although devastating for the Cadle family, is an example of what can go wrong. Station Officer Orin Smith explains the risks involved.


Orin Smith, Station Officer, National Fire Service

“There is a great degree of risks involved in electrical feed. When a house is naturally wired, the electrician takes his care to calculate the electrical load the house is expected to bare. Circuit breakers and wirings are sized appropriately and the house is well grounded. When you have a drop received from an adjacent structure, none of this is taken into account and quite often you might get a feed for a refridge or maybe a TV, but later on, a microwave gets added, a stereo gets added. So it keeps building up. You might have another tenant gets into the same building and receives a feed from the person who was already receiving a feed and you end up with a number of extensions off that one feed. That will create an overload at some point and starts a fire. Also because there is no grounding, when there is an electrical surge, it is most certain a fire will occur from either the electrical feed or one of the appliance the feed is connected to.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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