Infrared Imaging Solutions (IRIS) Ghana, an electrical service provider, has advised the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) to include infrared electrical inspection in the fire safety certification processes to help reduce fire outbreaks.
Mr Awal Sakib Mohammed, the Chief Themographer and Electrical Wiring Inspector of IRIS Ghana, gave the advice at an event to introduce the Infrared Electrical Inspection system to officials of the GNFS.
He said this was important as it would ensure early fire detection and control in commercial facilities.
Infrared electrical inspection is a thermal imaging device that detects potentially dangerous hotspots and anomalies that could lead to equipment malfunction and fire hazards.
He said the recent incidences of fire outbreaks are reported to have been caused by electrical faults, hence; the key way to prevent electrical fires was through predictive maintenance to detect the onset of a condition that could eventually lead to a fire.
"For electrical equipment, a common way to identify conditions that could eventually lead to a fire is to utilize an infrared camera to identify loose or corroded connections, load balance issues, defective breakers and switches, as well as excessive loads", he stated.
"Infrared inspection is a light that is not visible to the human eye. It is the part of the electromagnetic spectrum perceived as heat".
"Infrared scanning works off the principle that electrical equipment gives off heat, but malfunctioning or overloaded electrical equipment will give off excessive heat due to increased electrical resistance".
"This heat can be detected by an infrared camera, and the various temperatures can differentiate between normal and malfunctioning equipment".
"The images can then be used to identify exactly what equipment is affected and how serious the problem is, based on the temperatures and temperature differentials.
He said though not economical to install this device at residential places, regular inspection of one's distribution board is required to prevent any fire risk.
"But for commercial facilities such as a huge data centres, markets, schools, warehouses, industries among others it is important to fix a still camera to regularly monitor happenings," he added.
Mr Edwin Ekow Blankson, the Chief Fire Officer of the GNFS, expressed gratitude to IRIS Ghana for introducing the service to how the advice operates, adding that, this was on course due to their expertise.
He said out of the 5,498 fires recorded in 2019, 672 were of electrical nature, thus, doing assessment of buildings would be of a great help to prevent potential electrical fires.