Fires can come from all manner of unexpected sources. Although static electricity is normally just a nuisance, did you know that it could potentially cause a fire? As unlikely as it is, a static electricity fire is no laughing matter. Here is some more information about static electricity, the risks it poses, and how to prevent a static electricity fire.
What Is It?
Static electricity accumulates due to friction. Due to the friction, an imbalance in electrical charge begins to build up, eventually resulting in a momentary shock. If you know how electrons work, then this explanation should make sense to you with no need for scientific knowledge.
How Does It Build Up?
Think about all of the friction that happens on any given day. In ordinary circumstances, static electricity builds up in the atmosphere and all around us. But at the same time, it’s easy for it to form in our homes and offices, and we’d be none the wiser.
Here’s a way to think about it: what are your shoes made of? What about the furnishings in your homes and workplaces? Rubber makes an excellent insulator, but that just means it’ll collect a static charge. Dry and cold winter weather will also increase your chances of receiving an unexpected static shock. Metal door knobs are another source of static that you might not immediately recognize as a fire hazard.
Static Electricity Fire Hazards
Static electricity can generate sparks, and sparks could cause an explosion in the wrong setting. If you work near explosives or other flammable materials, you must be exceedingly careful. However, this charge must be energetic enough to start a fire. If the spark touches dust, fumes, or other vapors, that can be enough to cause a fire. Fires can then endanger the health and safety of both employees and nearby equipment.
How Can You Minimize It?
Here are some simple tips for controlling and reducing the chances of a static electricity fire:
- Make sure the shoes you wear have leather soles. You can also wear socks made from cotton instead of wool – perhaps double them up if you feel so inclined, especially given how cold it is; even though it may be tempting to wear wool sweaters, wear a cotton one instead.
- Cold weather is also most likely dry weather. If you don’t already use a humidifier in your home or office, try doing so.
- Keep your hands moisturized with high-quality lotion.
Commercial and Residential Fire Prevention from Judd Fire Protection
If you want to ensure your home and business are safe throughout the year, trust Judd Fire Protection, LLC. We have over two decades of experience with design, installation, service, and inspection of residential and commercial fire protection systems. We service clients throughout the Maryland, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., Virginia, and West Virginia. If you are interested in finding out more about our services and protecting your home and business, give us a call at 410-871-3480 or contact us online. For more fire safety tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.