Now that we have hit the dog days of winter, the furnaces are turned way up and fireplaces are working around the clock. Channel 2 News in Salt Lake City reported on an all-too-common attic fire that happens during this time of year. We thought we would take this opportunity to share the 3 main reasons why attic fires occur, and what you can do to stop them.
This information is courtesy of the Attic Guys.
43% of Fires: Electrical Malfunction
“The single most common cause of residential attic fires is electrical malfunction. When circuits are overloaded and the breaker fails to respond appropriately, the excess “draw” could result in a fire.”
Here are some tips to avoid electrical fires in the attic:
- Don’t overload outlets or extension cords.
- Only use electronics according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
- Hire a professional electrician to inspect the wiring in your attic.
- Don’t leave electrical appliances or devices plugged into attic outlets. Always unplug them before leaving.
Note: rats, mice, raccoons, squirrels and other animals may chew through electrical wiring, which also increases the chance of an electrical fire in the attic.
5% of Fires: Heating
“If your home is run on a traditional heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) system, it’s a good idea to have it inspected by a professional at least once a year to ensure it’s working properly and there are no fire hazards present. Build ups of dust, lint and debris in the duct work or around the furnace create the potential for a fire.”
13% of Fires: Natural
“Unfortunately, there’s no way to completely protect your attic against natural fires such as this. However, you can ensure the roofing is intact and use fire-retardant materials to decrease the chance of natural-cause fires.”