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#37762 - 05/06/04 07:28 AM Typical  
rowdyrudy  Offline
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 169
Mascoutah, IL USA
News article about a fire. "Officials say the cause is unknown but it was probably electrical".

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#37763 - 05/06/04 07:46 AM Re: Typical  
electure  Offline

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,261
Fullerton, CA USA
I was told by a local firefighter that "probably electrical in origin" was more or less the "default setting" for their reports.
Whenever they don't have a valid explanation, that seems to be where they go.

#37764 - 05/06/04 08:30 AM Re: Typical  
CTwireman  Offline
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 840
Connecticut, USA
When the cause is "electrical" in nature, aren't fires actually caused by the building wiring system extremely rare?

I am under the impression that most "electrical" fires are caused by improper use of extension cords, power strips, christmas lights, faulty appliances, heaters etc.

Can anyone confirm or deny this, or are hard numbers even available?



#37765 - 05/06/04 11:10 AM Re: Typical  
resqcapt19  Offline
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,148
The information cited in support of the AFCI rule said that about 40% of the residential electrical fires originate in the building electrical system. Note that this information is derived from the same fire reports that are being discussed in this thread.


#37766 - 05/06/04 11:56 AM Re: Typical  
jdevlin  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 402
welland ontario canada
I saw a tv proram once about this. There was a resteraunt that cught on fire. They blamed it on the electrical that had been done the day before. Then 3 monthes later someone found the survailence tape in the burnt up VCR. It was still playable. It turned out the waitress cleaning tables had dump some hot cigarette butts into the trash can under the new receptacle.

#37767 - 05/06/04 01:12 PM Re: Typical  
Bjarney  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,527
West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
Second-hand story… in early 1976, while under restoration for the bicentennial, a historic building in the northeast caught fire and quicky burned to the ground. The ‘official’ report stated: “The cause of the fire could not be determined because the building was not wired.”

#37768 - 05/12/04 09:02 PM Re: Typical  
CTwireman  Offline
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 840
Connecticut, USA
Don, Sorry for the extremely late response, but I do not believe for a second that 40% of fires are caused by the building wiring system.



#37769 - 05/12/04 09:51 PM Re: Typical  
harold endean  Offline
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
Boonton, NJ
That was one of my biggest pet peeves is when the "firemen" would always say, "It was an electrical fire." Now don't get me wrong I love fireman, ( My dad was a volenter fireman for 20 years.) But I just wish that these officials would just look a little deeper to see if they can get to the root of the fire. Just don't dismiss it as an "electrical fire" just because they didn't do their job correctly.

#37770 - 05/12/04 11:41 PM Re: Typical  
Big Jim  Offline
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 394
Denver, CO USA
Well, the origin was electricity but the cause was the IDIOT who plugged six space heaters into two extension cords on the same duplex!
I'm afrais that message will never get across.

[This message has been edited by Big Jim (edited 05-12-2004).]

#37771 - 05/12/04 11:53 PM Re: Typical  
DougW  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
North Chicago, IL
Well, as one of the "firemen" on the board, IIRC (from an investigator's point of view) that less than 9% of all the fires currently listed as "electrical" in origin really are.
(get it? It's an electrical pun! Y'know...currently... electrical? Oh, never mind)

I think I've seen maybe 6 or 8 that started due to electricity - including the wintertime 30A fuses feeding space heaters on extension cords under carpets one, and the summertime 20A window A/C 'pigtailed' to a 16 awg lamp grade extension cord one.

The investigator on our shift has a really hard time calling any fire electrical in origin - she calls it a "lazy determination".

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