Electrical fire damages home on Skylar Drive

Above: Firefighters leave a home on Skylar Drive (photo courtesy of the Southborough Fire Department)

Smoke detectors saved the day on Skylar Drive last night. Here’s a report from the Southborough Fire Department.

A 9-1-1 call was received at 6:49 pm Sunday reporting a fire in a room in a home on Skylar Drive. Firefighters responded and found a fire involving a computer desk, which had been extinguished prior to their arrival.

An electrical problem in the house earlier in the day prompted a call to National Grid. While power was being restored to the home, a fire started in a surge protector/power strip, which was attached to the underside of the computer desk. The fire singed a wall and the ceiling of the room.

Smoke detectors in the home alerted the owners of the fire.

Firefighters checked to ensure the fire had not extended to hidden wall, ceiling, and attic areas, then used a ventilation fan to remove the smoke from the home.

No injuries were reported. Firefighters left the scene at 7:50 pm.

(Photo courtesy of the Southborough Fire Department)

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13 years ago

I have more than one power strips in my house, some with surge protection, so, quite naturally, this item concerns me. I need to know why the fire arose, and the answer to the broader question: are these devices safe?

Kelly Roney
13 years ago

I just spent all day at work helping get a critical server back on line after a data center fire from a cheap box fan running at too high a duty cycle. The moral of the story is: Don’t buy the cheapest piece of under-engineered electronic junk.

But it’s totally unrealistic to think people are going to unplug their power strips. Might as well wish the risk away.

Understand electricity instead. If you have a 15 amp circuit, you don’t get more available current by adding a plug strip. If a breaker keeps tripping, warning! If a cord is warm, warning! Your electronic equipment states how much current it draws. Add it up – and remember that that 15 amp breaker serves lots of outlets and maybe some light fixtures, not just the duplex (two-plug) outlet in front of you. That’s how there can be so many more outlets than breakers.

Keith Harris
13 years ago

I bought a Zero surge unit 100% no fail ever in 12 years…I’m very happy with it for my home and now evryone at work has them too! http://www.zerosurge.com
Much better than a power strip no MOV’s to blow-up!!

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