Overloaded Power boards cause unit fire - Villawood

Published: 02 Jun 2023 01:19pm

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) specialist fire investigators have determined that a fire that damaged three units in Villawood and resulted in the evacuation of 50 people was caused by an overload of power boards.

FRNSW firefighters responded to a series of triple zero calls to the unit complex on Woodville Road, just before 7:30pm on Thursday evening.

On arrival the firefighters were confronted with a unit on the second floor of a three-level unit block engulfed in flames and threatening to spread to adjoining units.

It took firefighters around 30 minutes to bring the fire under control, with firefighters remaining at the scene afterwards to clear the smoke and excess water that had resulted from the firefighting efforts.

NSW Police were on site to help co-ordinate the evacuation of residents from the apartment block as the fire was being contained.

Superintendent Adam Dewberry from Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) said that “poor maintenance and incorrect usage of power boards can result in home and office fires endangering lives and causing considerable damage to property”

FRNSW statistics show that within the since June 2022 476 residential house fires have been caused by electrical faults.

Problems with power boards can arise from:

  • Overloading the power board
  • Dust build-up in unused points
  • Power leads becoming dislodged over time, particularly under a desk where they are knocked by feet
  • Poor placement of power cables and extension chords leading to the power board.
  • Inadequate ventilation of the power board preventing “normal” dissipation of heat generation.
  • Limited or no understanding of the amount of power being drawn by different appliances.
  • Heavy plug-in transformers that will "overbalance" and partially unplug, resulting in overheating from poor connections.

Updated: 02 Jun 2023 02:07pm

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Details about this incident may change and should not be used as emergency information and/or advice.

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