Last week I asked some people on the sidewalk why they were looking at the old house across the street. They informed me there had been a fire in the night that gutted the house and sent three people to the hospital.
The cause of the fire: overheated electrical wiring.
Why electrical fires happen
There are many causes of electrical fires in old (and not so old) homes:
- DIY (do it yourself) wiring projects done wrong
- space heaters close to drapes and bedclothes
- overloaded circuits (too many items going to an outlet)
- poorly made extension cords, batteries, etc. from flea markets
What to look out for
Some warning signs are:
- circuit breakers or fuses that keep tripping or blowing
- burning smells or marks around outlets
- you get a shock from an appliance
- the TV dims
How to prevent fires
Whether you have remedied the possible causes of electrical fires or not, the best defense is no surprise. Install smoke alarms. On every floor, in bedrooms and just outside them. And check the batteries when daylight saving time comes or goes.
The final step would be to get a fire extinguisher. Look for one labeled A-B-C. They are capable of battling fires of all types.
May we all sleep safely in the night.