What to look out for in your home’s wiring to avoid a house fire

SPOKANE, Wash. — In the last four days, there have been three house fires in Spokane County.

The Spokane Fire Department determined electrical issues caused two of the fires, including the one that killed a man.

Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said this type of fire incident happens too often.

“Especially in older homes, homes that we are concerned with especially toward the winter season are homes with knob and tube wiring, homes that may have been remodeled and not necessarily permitted,” Chief Schaeffer said.

Some homes just simply have aged wiring.

“I don’t think in 1950 they necessarily had an idea that we would be using this much electricity,” Schaeffer said.

Local electrician Jon Medaris said that figuring out concerns with your circuitry and wiring online may not be the best idea.

“I’m sure people that look things up on YouTube, they do it themselves,” said Medaris, Training Director of Inland Empire Electrical Apprenticeship. “Having somebody who’s really trained and licensed to be doing it because they do truly understand what can go wrong and it’s not done properly.”

Medaris said that some incidents may be caused by the actual wiring that has not been done properly, but in other situations, it could be the homeowners having too much in one circuit.

It’s important to know your system’s capacity, as well as using products that are UL-listed or a power strip that has a breaker.

Medaris also pointed out every individual home has different electrical settings, so it’s important to have a certified electrician access the circuitry.

READ: ‘House was engulfed’: How to protect your home from a house fire before it’s too late