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By George Argo
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Expert Author George Argo
I am sitting in the mountains of Northeast Georgia. Today I am watching the weather. The weather forecast is for a winter storm watch. Usually these events bring several household fires in the area. On of the causes of the fire stems from the lack of oxygen and ventilation in the houses. All appliances have to have certain amount of oxygen to operate. the compressors need oxygen not to overheat. the space heaters need oxygen so the internal parts can cool themselves. Also, sitting these heaters close to drapes or even paneling can be a fire hazard .
Saving money is not the most important factor to consider. Usually, we close all the doors to the outer rooms. Our space heaters, T.V.’s, and everything are running constantly. This is why the circuit breaker keeps tripping. Another cause of space heaters and appliances not working properly can be faulty electrical outlets and cords. If the cord isn’t big enough to handle the load the cord will get hot. Eventually the cord will burn. Older receptacles are culprits in these types of fires .
Tips to prevent these residential fires include,
The doors to outer rooms need to be partially open during long periods of occupation .
You must place space heaters towards the center of the room .
I separate the use of electrical circuits .
We must always inspect insulation of cords. We must replace faulty receptacles .
An ice storm in 2011 confined my family to our home for almost a week. We had to keep doors partially open to keep air circulating. Carbon Dioxide is dangerous as well as working the electrical system too hard. The storm brought a power outage. I had not installed an emergency generator. I needed heat, so I broke out the old kerosene heater. I had to protect the kids and the pets from injury. This is harder with the heaters sitting in the middle of the room. The heater can’t ignite flammable draperies and paneling in the middle of the room. I always get a new thicker cord to power the space heaters in the rear of the house. A 10 gauge wire extension cord can handle the amperage drawn during the long periods of use. I plug the cord into a receptacle on a separate electrical circuit. The practice of replacing old cords and outlets will ensure the protection is provided by the circuit breakers. I provide customer with advice about fire safety all the time. These are some of those tips .