BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT)- An evening house fire on Felix Avenue Southwest is being blamed on an electrical short, according to the Birmingham Fire Department. Battalion Chief C.W. Mardis said the blaze sparked when a man turned on his air conditioner for the first time this spring, and it overloaded his breakers. "If you've gone a period of time without using a particular electronic component, you should always make sure you check it," says Mardis. "Particularly, your air conditioner. Make sure the vents are clean, make sure there's no dust on any of the wires, make sure any wires are not broken or frayed."
Air conditioners aren't the only threats to electrical fires. Here are some tips from Battalion Chief Mardis:
1) Keep your house free of clutter.
2) Use light bulbs with less radiant heat and that use less electricity.
3) Don't have exposed wires in high traffic areas, or tucked under rugs.
4) Don't overload outlets.
5) Mardis says, if you're going to use extension cords, remember they're only meant to be temporary.
6) If you're using a stand alone fan, don't run them for long periods of time. They too, can overheat and catch fire.
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