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TCFD: Inspect Air Conditioners on Regular Basis to Prevent Accidents

A window air conditioner destroyed by a fireWith the summer heat arriving in full force, the Fire Department (TCFD) calls upon the public to regularly inspect air conditioner cables and carry out scheduled maintenance and cleaning. They should also pay attention to abrupt noises and other irregularities, as it is the best way to prevent air conditioner-related fires.

According to statistics, there has been a total of 125 air conditioner-related fires over the past three years. Among these, 68 incidents involve the outdoor unit of mini-split air cons; 24 accidents are related to the indoor blower unit of mini-split systems; 14 emergencies are related to window air conditioners; 11 incidents are related to central air conditioners, and 8 cases were classified as “others.”

Fortunately, there were no reports of deaths in these events. As for the cause, the majority of the cases (71.2%) involve short circuit failures of the electrical cord. Further investigation reveals that the short circuit may be due to the age of the electricity cord itself, or heavy objects have been placed on top of the power cable, or that the wire is tied or wrapped around other things. Other causes include the accumulation of grit on the cable head and the mains cable overheating.

TCFD pointed out that basic maintenance of air conditioners includes routine cleaning and maintenance, regular cleaning, replacement of filters, and hiring professional staff to disassemble and inspect machine parts such as circuit board and condenser.

If the user notices bizarre noises or smell something burning, they should immediately stop the machine and call in experts for inspections. Also, as portions of the mini-split air conditioner is located outside the house, these units should be placed at well-ventilated areas to minimize possible deterioration and energy wasting due to poor heat dissipation.