Ex junction boxes can help to reduce the risk of electrical faults sparking an explosion – which appears to be what happened in Birmingham recently.

BBC News reported an incident on Monday, April 20th, in which electrical equipment underneath Stratford Road in Shirley exploded.

This led to a pyrotechnic-style jet of flame shooting upwards from a manhole on a public pavement, similar to those seen in London in recent weeks due to an underground fire there.

In Birmingham, the jet lasted just a second or two each time, and was accompanied by a plume of black smoke; the amateur footage given to the BBC showed at least three jets in close succession.

“West Power Distribution said engineers were despatched after receiving a call at about 17:00 BST,” the BBC reported.

“They isolated electricity supplies and cordoned off the area before repairing an underground link box.”

The incident highlights how electrical links that are hard to access – such as those underground – can pose particular hazards, especially in public places.

With ex junction boxes, the risk of any such explosion can be minimised, providing an extra level of safety in the event of a circuit failure.