Preventing wall fires: 'Your home is where your family is'

Preventing wall fires: 'Your home is where your family is' »Play Video
“You know, they sit all summer long, collecting dust. That gets on the element and can cause some problems,” said Mel Manning with Builders Electric.

EUGENE, Ore. - When firefighters responded to a call of a "wall fire" last weekend, it raised the question: A wall fire? What's that about?

Let’s just say your space heater may be a little dirty.

“You know, they sit all summer long, collecting dust. That gets on the element and can cause some problems,” said Mel Manning with Builders Electric.

This goes for a wall unit or space heater.

Cleaning the heater is quick and easy. Just turn the breaker off and break out a shop vac. Once the heater is cleaned, it’s important to the circuit you plug it into can handle the heat.

“Number one,” said Manning, “you’ve got to make sure the circuit is wired for it properly.”

If you decide to plug in a heater too powerful for the outlet, you’re asking for trouble.

As for your Weekend Warrior projects, Manning said hanging a light fixture is OK. But if you plan to rewire a garage or something in your house, you really have to make sure you’re doing it correctly.

“Your home is where your family is. And you want that safe. There’s a lot of weekend projects that happen and kind of go awry because they didn’t get proper information from somebody,” he said.

Manning said the information to properly wire your home is easy to obtain. A quick Google search, or call to a licensed electrician, can provide the information you need to keep your family safe.

“You either do it right or wrong,” says Manning. “And if you do it wrong, it’s an unsafe situation.”