Electrical fires are just one of the horror stories we hear about from residents on a daily basis. People often feel “that would never happen to me” or are unprepared for one-off scenarios that there’s simply no way to anticipate. This is why insurance exists, after all. Insurance is designed to protect people from unexpected situations like theft, burglary, floods, hurricanes, and so many other perils. Today’s #wednesdaywarning is about the electrical fire in Madison, Tennessee that happened around 5:15 a.m. just yesterday, January 30, 2018.
At least 12 apartments in the 28-unit building on North Dupont Avenue were completely destroyed by fire or water. The building was constructed in 1976 and met the electrical codes of that time, but firefighters say the two-alarm fire was probably due to faulty electrical wiring. When the building is repaired, it will now need to meet current code requirements.
Firefighters had to fight the fire from both inside and outside of the building, pulling the ceiling down inside at some points to be able to access the fire in the attic. Unfortunately, Rhonda Petty was not at home when the fire started, and her Jack Russell terrier was trapped inside her apartment and killed. One man was taken to the hospital for minor burn injuries. There were no other fatalities, which many residents credit to the fact that one woman made rounds and knocking on neighbors’ doors to wake and warn residents. Still, thirty-six people have been displaced from their homes, are sheltering at the Madison Church of Christ and meeting with Red Cross staff for housing assistance.
How Can I Protect Myself From Electrical Fire?
The best way to protect yourself from electrical fire is to first make sure your building is up to code. Hire a highly rated electrician to inspect the building. If you live in a rental like the people in Madison, Tennessee, then make sure to ask your landlord or apartment management when the last electrical inspection was. It’s also important to note that copper wiring is much less prone to causing fires than is aluminum. If your building has aluminum wiring, you may think twice about renting there.
Another preventative measure you can take is to make sure your electrical outlets are not overburdened. This happens when too many devices are plugged into one outlet, like when you plug in a power strip. If you must plug multiple items into one outlet, use a surge protector, or a power strip with internal overload protection. This will make the power strip just shut off as soon as it becomes overloaded.
Check around your home or apartment for any damaged or frayed cords. If you have cords that have been damaged, they should be replaced, along with any dangling or loosely connected plugs. Try to keep all wires and cords out of the way of foot traffic or general wear and tear.
Getting in the habit of unplugging all appliances when not in use is another great way to protect from electrical fire hazard. Not only do you save electricity and lower your risk of fire, but you also save money on your power bill–bonus!
How Will Your Renters Insurance Policy Protect You From Electrical Fire?
If you ever find yourself in the midst of an electrical fire, would you have any protections in place to put the pieces of your life back together? We ask this not to be harbingers of doom, but because we truly feel the best way to be prepared is to be informed. If you had a Tennessee Renters Insurance renters insurance policy, how would it protect you if you were a victim of an electrical fire?
First of all, your policy has personal property coverage, which means your items lost to the electrical fire would be replaced; furniture, clothing, electronics, bedding, etc. Of course, there are no replacing keepsake items like photographs or family heirlooms–it’s best to keep these items in a fireproof box, or in a secure location off of the property.
If you are the victim of an electrical fire, your loss of use coverage on your policy will pay for any increase in living expenses, so that you may maintain your normal standard of living. This includes paying for a place to stay and your meals, while your home is being repaired.
Do you have any questions about this #wednesdaywarning, or do you need to get set up with a policy? Just call (800)892-4308 or click to get covered - whether you need Madison, TN renters insurance quotes online or coverage anywhere else!
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