December: Top Time for Electrical Fires
With holiday decorations, new appliances given as gifts, and home energy systems stressed with cold temperatures, December ranks as the deadliest month for electrical fires. "28,600 fires and $1.1 billion in property losses" is caused annually by electrical fires, according to the United States Fire Administration.
More than half of house fires are caused by electrical problems. Fitting the statistics, North Carolina electrical fires have been hitting the headlines this December. Just to name a few dangerous fires in Fayetteville, Raleigh and Hickory, the entire state is battling unpredictable fire damage, repair costs and insurance claims. With insurance claims, families may run into problems. Brent Adams & Associates’ insurance dispute attorneys in Raleigh, Fayetteville and Dunn represent policy holders who do not receive the compensation outlined in their policies, whose claims are not handled in a timely fashion, or whose claims are ultimately denied although their policy states otherwise. Many of these cases are known as insurance bad faith claims.
A man recently lost his family in a Fayetteville fire. Ashley Bullock and her two children died in a house fire that was the result of an electrical problem. Bullock and her sons were stuck in a bedroom when the fire broke out in the kitchen. In a separate fire, a nurse was severely burned while at home when a fire took over house. The blaze, which took place in Smyth County, was also caused by an electrical problem. The woman survived the fire, but her burn injuries were fatal and she passed away a few days later. Our NC insurance dispute lawyers also came across the story of a Hickory fire that destroyed a family’s home. Fortunately, the family was not inside at the time; however their dogs and cat did not survive the fire. In this fire as well, the cause was electrical.
Through the recent North Carolina stories and the consistent statistics of December house fires, it’s clear that electrical fires are a top cause. Our Raleigh insurance dispute lawyers have created 3 Fire Safety Tips for you to share with your friends and family:
- Replace old holiday lighting. If you’ve been using the same sets of holiday lights for inside and outside your home for more than five years, discard of them and replace with new sets. Holiday light bulbs are designed to last 1-3 seasons. (New LED lights last much longer.) You may be able to receive cash for electrical lights you donate to your local landfill.
- Replace smoke detector batteries and test them before you decorate. To ensure your smoke detectors are in top working order during the riskiest time of year for fires, make replacing the batteries and testing the systems part of your decorating routine.
- Store lights safely. A prime way to save lights is to enclose each set in a separate air-tight plastic bag. This protects the electrical wires from moisture and dust, and prevents tangling with other sets of lights.
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