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It’s Fire Prevention Week: Home Fire Safety Tips

Each year the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) holds National Fire Prevention Week in October.

Each year the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) holds National Fire Prevention Week in October.

The event, which runs October 7 through October 13 this year, started to commemorate the infamous Chicago fire of 1871 and has grown to a nationwide occasion to promote fire safety.

Because of this event, and as the Sarasota area’s leading electrical, plumbing, cooling and heating company, we have collected fire prevention tips in each of our areas of expertise.

Electrical System Fire Prevention Tips

According the NFPA, in 2010 electrical home fires resulted in 240 deaths and 980 injuries in addition to the $774 million in property damage. You can help keep your home from becoming this year’s statistic by remembering a few key electrical system safety tips.

  • Extension cords are for temporary use – Don’t use an extension cord as a p permanent solution. They can become a fire hazard quickly from wear and tear.
  • Use a licensed electrician for all electrical work – Electricians go through extensive training and apprenticeships. Doing electrical work yourself can cause big problems later.
  • Match light bulbs to light fixtures – Each lamp and light fixture is designed to take a specific size bulb. Using a larger one can create a fire hazard from the increased load.
  • Warm outlets, tripping circuits and flickering lights are problems – If you experience these issues frequently, contact a qualified electrician.
  • Don’t overload your electrical system – Avoid plugging multiple heat-generating appliances (microwave, toaster, etc.) into the same outlet.
  • Lint is highly flammable – Dryer fires are not uncommon and they usually occur as a result of lack of maintenance. Clear the lint trap before every load and clean the back of the dryer where lint can also get stuck.

Plumbing System Fire Prevention Tips

When you think of fire safety, you probably don’t immediately think of your plumbing system (since it is all water, right?) But there are a couple things you should know that can help prevent a fire in your Sarasota-area home.

  • Get a water heater tune-up – Your water heater uses electricity or gas to heat water. If not operating correctly, it could turn into a fire hazard.
  • Keep flammable materials away from your water heater – Many home fires occur each year because flammable materials are kept too close to water heaters. Keep the three-foot radius around your water heater clear.

Air Conditioning/Heating Fire Prevention Tips

One of the main causes of home fires in the United States is home heating systems, according to the NFPA. However, one of the benefits of living in the Sarasota area is that it doesn’t get especially cold.

That means we can rely on efficient heat pumps rather than gas furnaces for the few cool days we do experience. Still, you should be aware of these home fire prevention tips for your air conditioning and heating system.

  • Don’t use extension cords – If you use a window air conditioner or space heater, don’t use an extension cord as they are not rated to take such a load and can result in a home fire.
  • Use the right circuit – Central air conditioners and heaters should have their own circuit so they don’t cause electrical problems.
  • Get annual tune-ups – Regular maintenance keeps your air conditioner and heater running safely and efficiently.


Use this week to educate yourself and your family on home fires and what you can do to prevent them. The tips above are just a starting point – for more information visit the official National Fire Prevention Week’s website.