His house is currently being rebuilt and my brother and family are all safe. When the insurance inspector inspected this fire, he was not surprised a surge protector had started it. He said surge protectors were a common cause of fires.
The only thing I had ever heard about surge protectors was "don't keep them when they get old". But how old is an old surge protector? How long should they be kept? And how old were ours? I had no idea! But my brother told us to get out all our surge protectors and replace them with new, metal, and high quality surge protectors- preferably made in the USA
This was good enough for us.
How long should a surge protector last, apparently it is the power surges that will dictate that. Your surge protector will absorb these power surges in a component called a MOV( metal oxide veristor). They can only absorb so much. Also, the quality of the surge protector does matter.
I did find a couple articles about surge protectors and here are the links
Power Surge article by Safe Electricity.org
Why and When you need to replace your surge protector
Again, I am no expert but when my brother suggested we replace our surge protectors after his house got burned down, we just did it.
Wishing you and those you love a safe, happy and healthy home.
Also, if you have any thoughts to add to this article, please feel free to carry on this conversation.
And the story continues...I'm updating this blog because...... a few weeks after my brother's fire, we got a new clothes dryer delivered. 4 weeks after that we started smelling a very strong plastic smell- similar to a new shower curtain. When they had installed our new dryer, something must have cracked or a wire came loose. When Dallas tried to unplug the dryer to see what was going on, it had melted to the outlet and almost caught fire!!! Thank goodness our breaker finally blew!!! Tomorrow they will come look at our dryer and fix the pig tail. Who knows it might have been the dryer that caused the problem but I'm guessing it was from an old outlet!
So to add to the surge protector these extra thoughts:
Check and replace outlets...
If you smell a strong and unidentifiable plastic or burning odor
If you are getting a new dryer or washer and using old outlets
If your outlets are loose
If you lights flicker or your breaker blows easily
When in doubt- call an electrician!!
For more fire safety tips click here This is the link to NFPA or the National Fire Protection Association
Wishing you a very safe and happy home,