Summer’s sultry weather can carry fire hazards. Assistant state Fire Marshall Jim Kenkel says in hot weather, the reason is often our increased electric usage.Window air conditioners far from an outlet can lead people to plug in extension cords, which may not be designed to carry that much current. Kenkel says if the cord itself doesn’t overheat, there’s another trouble source. If it’s not the cord, the house wiring may be overtaxed, and when a fuse blows, replacing it with a bigger fuse is a bad idea. If a home lacks central air, it doesn’t mean you couldn’t use a window unit, but the fire marshal’s office has a bit of professional advice — get professional advice. If equipment’s too large for the house wiring, have an electrician check it out. A child died in a house fire in Atlantic last week blamed on an extension cord, and the week before, three house fires in eastern Iowa were blamed on overheated attic wiring connected to air conditioners.
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