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#191199 - 12/21/09 11:40 AM Fire cause  
Jim M  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 457
Chestertown, MD, USA
Wonder if this is the official cause or just the reporters take on the cause? How about improper storage of combustibles too close to a heating source?

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#191200 - 12/21/09 11:58 AM Re: Fire cause [Re: Jim M]  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
The headline conflicts with the story. Maybe the editor ought to read his own paper.

Stuff gets stacked on the stove ... then catches fire when the stove is turned on? Who could have anticipated that ever happening?

#191201 - 12/21/09 12:58 PM Re: Fire cause [Re: renosteinke]  
jdevlin  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 402
welland ontario canada
Yea but the circuit was turned on. That was the cause. No fault to the operator or the person who stored the junk. It's the breaker's fault. It should have known better than to let itself be turned on.

#191203 - 12/21/09 02:17 PM Re: Fire cause [Re: jdevlin]  
EV607797  Offline
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 745
Fredericksburg, VA, USA
Just like when someone plugs an electric heater into an 18/2 extension cord, causing an "electrical" fire. No, it was caused by carelessness, not electricity.

In this case, I'd agree that the reporter's take was way off.


"But the guy at Home Depot said it would work."

#191205 - 12/21/09 03:32 PM Re: Fire cause [Re: EV607797]  
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,069
The people who write headlines seem to never actually read the story.
I also question a lot of these "electrical" fire reports.
You know this one was reported as electrical, not stupidity. That skews the statistics and allows groups like NFPA to justify dumb stuff like the AFCI requirement.

Greg Fretwell

#191217 - 12/21/09 10:02 PM Re: Fire cause [Re: gfretwell]  
HotLine1  Offline

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,808
Brick, NJ USA
$ 3.5 mil in damages added into the running totals of 'electrical fires'. I question the fire reports that I see that are 'electrical', of which 99 to 100% are 'stupidity' that no AFCI/GFCI/TR/WR would prevent. Next code cycle, perhaps we may have a mandated "SFCI".

(Stupidity Fault Current Interupter)


#191222 - 12/21/09 10:40 PM Re: Fire cause [Re: HotLine1]  
Retired_Helper  Offline
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 165
I wonder if any SFCI's will come back to the QA lab painted over, packed with plaster, showing signs of being hammered into the box, with a note attached, "Doesn't work"?

#191403 - 12/27/09 03:17 AM Re: Fire cause [Re: Retired_Helper]  
Tinkerer  Offline
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 16
Birmingham, AL, USA
Along this same line I remember an editorial in EC&M back in the 70's complaining about poor fire cause attribution. It cited a report where the fire investigator said that the source of the fire could not be determined since the building did not have electrical service.

#191408 - 12/27/09 11:23 AM Re: Fire cause [Re: Tinkerer]  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
Tinkerer, I was on scene the morning after a fatal fire in a hotel room. My job was to 'make safe' the electrical.

This fire had been so intense that the couplings had melted off the EMT. Still, the point of origen was fairly clear; there was little left of the bed but the metal parts of the box springs. Chalk one up to smoking in bed.

This all aside, the adjuster from the insurance company was just determined to attribute the fire to 'electrical.' This was despite the scene having already been dissected by the crime-scene folks (there had also been some indication there might have been foul play).

#191412 - 12/27/09 01:28 PM Re: Fire cause [Re: renosteinke]  
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,069
I am another one who thinks "electrical" is a quick way out without actually finding the cause of a fire. Unless they can actually tell me some story that makes sense they are just throwing a wild guess out there that nobody will dispute. The more fires that get attributed to some nebulous "electrical" cause, the more plausible it becomes.
The down side of that laziness is how easy it was to justify things like the AFCI requirement.

Greg Fretwell

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