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Published: 6 february 2020 21:45

Smart devices – a new danger at home. Why did this happen?

Elektra
Žygimanto Gedvilos / 15min nuotr. / Power sockets

The homes of Lithuanian citizens are lately actively being filled with smart electronic devices and modern household appliances. Insurers note that our country’s people are walking hand in hand with technologies – smart robots are cleaning homes and wireless vacuum cleaners and power sockets have a smartphone, watch, bracelet and wireless headphone chargers connected to them.

“Every year, people are increasingly “robotizing” their homes. Increasingly our country’s people are employing in their homes self-propelled devices – robots. These are vacuum cleaners, mops, lawnmowers. In recent years, a whole new means of transport has found its way to Lithuania – electric scooters, which must be charged. When going to sleep, most people are used to leaving their smartphones, watches, bracelets and smart headphones to charge so that they could be used during the day. Thus, if before overnight several smartphones would be left to charge at home, now the number of charging devices has grown more than threefold,” Gjensidige Head of Claims Baltics Viktorija Katilienė spoke.

She highlighted that the number of devices is rapidly increasing and usually no one adjusts the capacities of electrical installations. According to V. Katilienė, when planning houses and apartment buildings before, it wasn’t even imagined that residents will use someday so many household and electronic devices.

If before, according to the insurance company representative, fires would occur due to heating system problems, then as of late there have been recorded increasing amounts of events related to electrical device malfunctions or them catching on fire.

“Last month, an electric scooter, which was plugged into a power socket and standing in my garage, caught on fire. In another case – a laptop being charged in a room. These accidents also occurred at night time, and thus without hearing the smoke detector signal in time, the consequences could have been especially terrible. While the families experienced losses, no one was hurt in the accidents,” V. Katilienė recounted.

According to her, people do not make use of automatic switches and try to “cheat” them in various ways. Thus, this way, a dangerous electrical power system overload occurs, and this could cause a fire.

V. Katilienė pointed out that people pay entirely no heed to the power levels, indicated in watts, of devices used in the home. The insurer warned that kettles, fridges and telephone chargers could be called the most dangerous devices. “Practice shows that fires occur namely due to malfunctions in these electrical devices at home,” the insurance claims expert stated.

She advised people themselves to not forget to take care of the safe charging of smart devices. “We see that a rising number of chargeable devices in the home increases the risk of fire. Thus, both adults and children must be responsible for taking care of their charging and should not leave charging devices without oversight,” V. Katilienė explained.

According to Gjensidige data, 70% of fires occur due to untidy electrical installations or switched on electrical devices. The company’s statistics show that the average damages of electrical installations reach more than 6,000 euro.

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