The common cause of an electrical fire, an overloaded circuit - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

The common cause of an electrical fire, an overloaded circuit

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PALMYRA, Mo. (WGEM) -

Earlier this week, a fire in a downtown Quincy business was started by an electrical issue, and it's yet another reminder just how quick and easy a fire can start.

The most common cause of an electrical fire is an overloaded circuit. And, with colder temperatures heading into the weekend, many of us will be flipping on our space heaters.

Big appliances like space heaters, air conditioners, washers and dryers, should never be plugged into a power strip or extension cord. If they are, the strips can overheat, smoke and cause a fire.

A volunteer firefighter in Palmyra says he's seen this kind of thing before."I've seen a lot of stuff like that whether it be inside the wall with an outlet or in a breaker box. It just overheats them and their not meant to withstand that kind of stuff," said Jesse Snow, a volunteer firefighter in Palmyra.

Smaller things like cell phones and laptops use less electricity, making them safer to use with power strips and extension cords.

The Palmyra Fire Chief says to look for a power strip or extension cord with a UL label on it. That stands for Underwriters Laboratories which means it meets safety standards.

A good power strip or extension cord with the UL label will cost you more. And a certified power strip with a surge protector is even better, but paying a few extra dollars when it comes to protecting your home, is really priceless.

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