Electrical Problem Causes Alexandria House Fire

Units responded to a house fire Wednesday, April 1, 2015, at approximately 9:30 a.m., in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County. The single-family home is located at 6835 Richmond Highway.

Firefighters encountered smoke coming from the rear of the one-story home upon arrival. Firefighters conducted an aggressive fire attack and quickly extinguished the fire. The fire was primarily contained to a bedroom area that had been converted from a patio. The occupants were alerted after seeing smoke coming from the bedroom heating vents. There were no working smoke alarms inside the home. Firefighters installed several smoke alarms prior to departing. Seven adults and four children have been displaced. Red Cross is assisting the occupants. There were no injuries.

Damage is estimated at $3,750.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. An electrical problem in the bedroom area caused the fire.

Electrical Safety Tips

  •  Replace or repair loose or frayed cords on all electrical devices.
  • Avoid overloading outlets. Plug only one high-wattage appliance into each receptacle outlet at a time.
  •  If your power goes out often or the lights in your home flicker, produce an odor, or make noise, have an electrician come in to inspect your wiring.
  • The electrical outlet in the bathroom should have a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI).
  •  This is a tool that protects you from dangerous shock when water and electricity come together. An electrician can install a GFCI for you.
  • All electrical outlets and switches should be covered by “face plates.”
  •  When possible, avoid the use of “cube taps” and other devices that allow the connection of multiple appliances into a single receptacle.
  •  Inspect electrical cords to make sure they are in good condition.
  • Consider having additional circuits or outlets added by a qualified electrician so you do not have to use extension cords.
  •  Don’t tie or knot electrical cords.
  • Don’t let furniture sit on electrical cords.
  •  Follow the manufacturer’s instruction for plugging an appliance into a receptacle outlet.