Your air conditioning unit is supposed to keep your home — and your family — cool during the hottest months of the year. Mechanical and electrical failures of your air conditioning unit, however, could put your home at risk of something decidedly hotter than a summer day in Missouri: a home fire.
American Air Conditioning and Fan Fires
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) released a study several years ago that estimated that 7,400 home fires were caused in 2010 by air conditioning, fans, or related equipment. As a result of those fires, there were also 29 civilian deaths.
Air conditioning units were responsible for fewer overall fires than fans were (2,500 air conditioning-related fires vs. 3,900 fan-related fires), but during the warmest months of the year (June, July, August, and September) there were more air conditioning-related home fires per month than there were fan-related home fires.
How to Prevent Air Conditioning and Fan Fires
The NFPA has four recommendations for the safe use of air conditioning, fans, and related home cooling equipment:
- Select and install cooling equipment for safety and effectiveness.
- Use electric-powered equipment safely, in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.
- Inspect and maintain electric-powered equipment regularly for safety.
- Make sure your equipment has the label showing that it is listed by a recognized testing laboratory.
Choosing the right equipment, using it properly, and maintaining it well can help keep your home — and your family — cool and safe during the hottest months of the year.
To learn how proper maintenance can save your family money on air conditioning this summer, read this post.