Refrigerator causes fire that displaces family

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Fire investigators have determined — a refrigerator started a fire at a home in Makakilo on Monday.

The fire caused nearly $500,000 in damage. 

Captain Scot Seguirant, Honolulu Fire Department Public Information Officer, says fires caused by major appliances are not that common.

“Basically, any type of electrical component, appliance, those things can have a problem and eventually cause a fire. It doesn’t happen very often, but that’s what happened in this case.” 

~ Capt. Scot Seguirant, Honolulu Fire Department

He says if there is a known issue with an appliance, get rid of it, or have it repaired or replaced immediately.

We take for granted that electric-powered devices we buy will be safe to use, but one key thing to look for is a tag on the cord or on the device itself — that ensures the device has been tested. 

“Most of them will have them. It would be in your best interests to look for that when you’re going to purchase any kind of new device, that, ‘is it tested? is it reputable?’ so those are the types of things you want to look for, just to make sure that there’s some kind of standard, if you will.”

 
Of course electric-powered devices are not the only causes of fires. 

The newsletter with this month’s bill from Hawaiian Electric Company, recaps some recent fires and their causes — and offers helpful tips to keep you and your loved ones safe.

When using candles, put them out before leaving the room or going to sleep.

Don’t overload power-strips or extension cords

Follow directions when using and disposing of hazardous chemicals

The Honolulu Fire Department’s main fire safety messages are:

Install smoke detectors — test them every month to make sure they are working.

And even better, Seguirant says, is to install a fire sprinkler system.

“We love sprinklers, because it doesn’t just let you know something’s going on, it actually puts it out. And just think about this now, if you were on fire, would you want me to tell you about it? Or would you want me to put it out? You’d want me to put it out, so that’s what the sprinkler system does.”
 

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