Earlier this week, the Charleston County Fire Department responded to a fire at the EME Apartments located of Central Park Road. This fire took nearly 30 minutes to contain and left 44 residents displaced on James Island. This was one of three apartment fires that happened within 24 hours of each other this week in Charleston. In addition to these 3 apartment fires, the Charleston Fire Department responded to two single family home fires.
The National Fire Protection Agency, NFPA, shares that candles, cooking, and electrical are the top three reasons for home structural fires. Last year the American Red Cross responded to more than 63,000 home fires which is one every 8 minutes. Studies show that home fires are the single most common disaster across the nation. As your local Charleston electrical contractor, we understand the importance of fire safety and recognize the need to educate on fire safety protection and prevention.
How can you be fire safe?
Know your exits
Whether you live in a single family home or an apartment complex, it is extremely important that you know your exist. Make sure you always have two exists and that each exit is clear and working. Your primary exit would be considered your front door and your secondary exit could vary depending on your living situation. If you have a bedroom on a second floor, make sure you have an emergency exit ladder that you can use to safely exit a window if necessary. If you live in a apartment complex, make sure you know the closet stairway exit. An elevator is NEVER an acceptable means of exit during a fire.
Practice your exit strategy
Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year. This is extremely important if you have children so they are aware of what to do if there is a fire. The number one goal during a fire is to get out and stay out. Also, make sure you have chosen a meeting spot that is a safe distance outside. Always wait till you are safe to call 911.
Smoke alarms save lives!
You should install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Make sure your check your smoke alarms every month and replace the batteries every ten years. If you have children teach them what a smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when they hear one.
Electrical fire safety
Almost all electrical fires can be prevented!
Remember to always have all electrical work done and inspected by a qualified electrician. If you are buying or remolding a home, have it inspected by a qualified electrician to ensure that it is in accordance with the local electrical requirements.
You don’t need a flame to start a fire.
Fires can start when heat builds up near things that burn. This can happen when a hot light bulb is near anything that burns, such as cloth, paper, or when an electrical cord is placed under a carpet of rug. Remember that electrical cords are only intended for temporary use. Call an electrician to add more receptacles if you need additional power sources.
Look out for electrical hazards!
- Frequent problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers
- A tingling feeling when you touch an electrical appliance
- Discolored or warm wall outlets
- A burning or rubbery smell coming from an appliance
- Flickering or dimming lights
- Sparks from an outlet
Call a qualified electrician or landlord if you notice any other these electrical hazards.
Fire safety begins with you!
Protect yourself, your family, and your neighbors.
We want to say a special thank you to the Charleston Fire Department, Charleston County EMS, CFD Rehab Trailer, Charleston County Rescue, and the American Red Cross for helping control the fires and protect the many residents.