When the temperature rises the air conditioners go on. But if you have a window air conditioner be careful that you’re using it properly to avoid a potential fire. An estimated 2,300 residential air conditioning fires start each year according to Sooner Alarms Company. In order to prevent a fire caused by a window air conditioner, here are some important tips:
- Try to always plug the air conditioner directly into the wall, not through an extension cord. Using an extension cord can overload the outlet. Additionally, extensions cords can fray or overheat if they are run under carpeting. If you must use an extension cord use one with at least 10-gauge wire and use the shortest cord possible.
- Avoid plugging an air conditioner into the same outlet or circuit as other high-wattage appliances, such as refrigerators, ovens, microwaves, dishwashers, and irons. When plugged into an outlet with too many lights or other appliances, air conditioners can overload and overheat the circuit, melting and igniting the wire insulation.
- Always make sure the unit is plugged into a three-prong outlet, and make sure the wiring in your house can handle the electricity used by the unit.
- Don’t wait to turn on the air conditioner until it’s unbearably hot. Extremely high temperatures will cause the air conditioner not to run properly as the unit can’t bring the temperature down sufficiently and the compressor will continue to cycle rather than shut off. This will cause heat to build up and eventually that causes the cord to burn out and a fire to start.
- If you’re using an oscillating fan or window fan the issues are similar – using an extension cord presents a serious fire hazard. Plug your fan directly into an outlet and be sure the cord is not running under a carpet or rug.
- Unplug your television, computer, and other appliances to protect them from power surges. For those items that do remain plug in, use PlugSafe from Sooner Alarms to be sure that your alarm is sounded sooner for Fire and Rescue to respond.
- To prevent a fire unplug or disconnect the dryer and shut the water valve off to the washing machine to prevent a flood. Every year there are approximately 15,500 dryer fires every year which cause tremendous property damage. Because of the humidity levels a traditional smoke detector can’t be installed in a laundry room but, but using Sooner Alarm’s PlugSafe someone can be alerted to a dryer fire immediately.
Sadly, many of these fires ignite rapidly with very little warning. There is a downside to using smoke detectors as they don’t go off until the room is filled with smoke. But by putting PlugSafe at the outlet where the air conditioner is plugged in, you can be alerted within seconds if a fire has started at the outlet or behind the wall.
Summer is the best time to go on family trips. You have all the destinations marked that you want to visit along with the hotels you plan to stay at but have you thought about protecting your home? It’s important while your away to keep your house safe from intruders.
- Let your security company know that you will be away.
- Give a trusted neighbor a house key and alarm code and have them go in and out a few times so it appears people are home (be sure to provide this person’s contact information to the alarm company and police, if you are notifying them). Also let your neighbor know where your circuit panel is in the event of a power outage.
- Have exterior and interior lights on timers.
- Do NOT post updates on social media that you’re on vacation or pictures of you on the beach in the Bahamas.
- Do not leave a spare key hiding outside. Most families hide a key for when they lose or lock themselves out of the house however this can be an easy way for intruders to get into your home.
- Frost or cover your garage windows, burglars won’t be able to tell if your car is gone.
- Unplug the power to the automatic garage door to eliminate the ability to open with a universal remote.
This article is provided on behalf of Sooner Alarms, the makers of a groundbreaking safety technology to help detect fires right from the source. The innovative new solutions from Sooner Alarms feature proximity sensors that detect heat at the source of a fire (most often an electrical outlet), sending a wireless signal to a remote alarm that notifies homeowners of a problem immediately, limiting property damage and saving lives, while eliminating an increase in false alarms. www.sooneralarms.com.