During the hot summer months, many people cool down by installing an air conditioning unit in their window. While this is a good way to bring a room down to your desired temperature, it also comes with some risk.
Air conditioners are responsible for 7,400 fires per year in the United States, cause $82 million in damage, kill 20 and injure an average of 140 people annually. Stay safe by watching out for these common causes of air conditioner related fires:
It is not wise to have flammables cluttered near your cord or air conditioning unit. This can invite the risk of fire if your unit gets too hot. Additionally, it’s not a good idea to run the cord to the unit underneath a carpet, as this can lead to overheating and ultimately, a fire. All flammable materials should be kept at least a few feet away from your unit.
An air conditioner that is not properly maintained will see dirt and dust accumulate, creating a fire hazard. This grime can collect on vital parts of the machine, causing them to work less effectively. Thus, more energy will be required to keep a room cool, which can cause overheating. This can also be a problem if vital parts such as the fan start to degrade, causing it to fail to properly cool down the machine as it works through long summer days.
Extension cords are among the leading causes of home electrical fires. They, along with surge protectors, tend not to be capable of powering a window air conditioning unit for long periods of time. This can cause even a newer cord or surge protector to overheat and start a fire. Experts also caution against cutting off the third prong of a plug to make it fit a two-prong outlet.
How to Be Safe
You can cut down on your risk of an air conditioning related fire by keeping flammable materials away form your unit, ensuring it is clean and in good working order and using the proper outlet.
It’s also smart to be prepared if a fire does break out by installing a home sprinkler system. Fire Tech Residential Sprinklers can help ensure your home is protected in the case of a fire. Contact us today to learn more about our products and services.