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More than half of home fires are caused from electrical issues

Posted at 7:13 PM, Mar 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-11 15:49:40-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Not all quick fixes are safe fixes. Officials say that's especially true when it comes to outdated electrical wiring in old homes or apartments.

"When it comes to electrical items you just can't take a chance on them," said Rural Metro Battalion Chief John Walka.

Walka says more than 60 percent of accidental residential fires are because of electrical issues. That's because most fires are started from worn out, faulty, or misused equipment like extension cords.

"Extension cords are meant for temporary use like a Shop vac for your car or a string trimmer in your yard, they're never meant for full time use," Walka explained.

Unless your home was built in the last 20 years, Walka says there probably aren't nearly enough outlets to accommodate your growing list of gadgets. So what can you do to prevent electrical fires? Walka says low power items are the only things that should be plugged into power strips.

"Things you should not put into a power strip are high energy items such as refrigerators, microwaves or coffee pots," Walka explained.

Another tip from Walka: cords should never run under carpets or furniture. Fires double in size every 10 seconds, and if cords are covered, the heat build-up could be even more dangerous.

Walka says, "when it comes to electricity in your homes, you have to play it safe. You can't afford to take chances."