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Cause Of Midday House Fire Determined: Electrical

The Shreveport Fire Department was dispatched to 2540 Regent Street at 11:28 AM for a reported fire.  Fire companies arrived on scene within two minutes to find a one story wood frame home with flames and smoke coming from a bedroom.  The fire was quickly extinguished and brought under control at 11:42 AM.

There was no one home at the time of the fire and there were no reported injuries.  The cause of the fire was determined to be electrical.  The bedroom had an air conditioning unit plugged into an extension cord.  The cord was run under carpet and had clothes on top of it.  When it overheated it ignited the carpet and other combustibles within the room.  The bedroom suffered heavy fire damage.

The following are some safety guidelines to prevent electrical fires.

Electrical Fire Safety

Most electrical distribution fires result from problems with “fixed wiring” such as faulty electrical outlets and old wiring. Problems with cords (such as extension and appliance cords), plugs, receptacles, and switches also cause many home electrical fires.

Light fixtures and lamps/light bulbs are also leading causes of electrical fires.

Many avoidable electrical fires can be traced to misuse of electric cords, such as overloading circuits, poor maintenance, and running the cords under rugs or in high traffic areas.

Safety Precautions

  • Routinely check your electrical appliances and wiring.

Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately.

  • Replace any electrical tool if it causes even small electrical shocks, overheats, shorts out, or gives off smoke or sparks.
  • Keep electrical appliances away from wet floors and counters; pay special care to electrical appliances in the bathroom and kitchen.
  • Buy electrical products evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
  • Keep clothes, curtains, and other potentially combustible items at least three feet from all heaters.
  • If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
  • Don’t allow children to play with or around electrical appliances like space heaters, irons, and hair dryers.
  • Use safety closures to “child-proof” electrical outlets.
  • Use electrical extension cords wisely; never overload extension cords or wall sockets.
  • Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.

Finally, having a working smoke alarm dramatically increases your chances of surviving a fire. And remember to practice a home escape plan frequently with your family.

Source:  United States Fire Administration

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