The Weaverville Volunteer Fire Department was called last Friday afternoon (1-29-10) for the smell of smoke inside a residence at 145 Taylor Street.  Firefighters arrived to find a strong smell of electrical smoke inside the residence.  Through the use of a Thermal Imaging camera that can detect heat inside a wall, they found an electrical outlet to be the problem. 


“There are many causes for duplex outlet failure,” stated Interim Chief Scott Alvord.  “Loose connections, too many items plugged into the outlet, faulty breaker are just a few items that can cause these circuits to fail.” 


Heat-producing electri­cal equipment (hair dryers, space heaters and such) tend to use more power than other electrical equipment. Devices like these may overload a circuit, especially one that is already reaching its maximum amperage allowance.  If you add a power strip to an outlet and have several of these items plugged in you can easily overload the circuit. Coupled with a faulty circuit breaker, this overload can cause the products to overheat and possibly to catch fire. Moreover, electrical fires that start in walls can smolder for some time. By the time the fire is detected, most likely it already has spread within the walls, unseen. There are over three times more residential building electrical fires than nonresidential building electrical fires, so the problem is particularly important for each of us in our homes.

If you are having electrical problems contact a qualified repair person to have your system checked out. If you smell smoke please contact your local fire department to locate the problem.  Waiting can be deadly!  As always make sure you have a working smoke detector in your home.