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Old 07-03-2010, 10:13 AM   #1
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Extension cord fire


Four people died in a rooming house fire in Paterson, NJ after the place had been sited for numerous electrical violations. Inspectors, who reported that the situation was a "fire waiting to happen" found no effort by the owner to fix the violations after some time, and the owner claimed illness as reason for not complying. Yet the city allowed the house to remain open!

Apparently, the wiring in the house had stopped working, and the landlord allowed the tenants to use extension cords to supply power to their rooms on the 2nd and 3rd floors.
These cords were plugged into two receptacles on the 1st floor.

The extension cords were overloaded, and eventually caused the fire.
Lots of questions:

Why don't inspectors who find serious code violations have the power to condemn a building and force residents to move out (in this case, probably to city run shelters).
At least allow the inspector to order the electrical (or other affected utility) to be shut off.

Why can't all extension cords manufactured for use in the US (no matter where they come from) be required to have circuit breakers in their plugs, rated to protect the cord?
This could prevent a lot of these fires caused by overloaded cords.

When it comes to electricity, people are very stupid. That's why we need legislation on the devices; people must be protected from themselves, especially in case of fire prevention, where injury and death often affects people not responsible for the cause.

FW

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Old 07-03-2010, 11:09 AM   #2
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Why don't inspectors who find serious code violations have the power to condemn a building and force residents to move out (in this case, probably to city run shelters).
At least allow the inspector to order the electrical (or other affected utility) to be shut off.
in most cases, they do.

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Why can't all extension cords manufactured for use in the US (no matter where they come from) be required to have circuit breakers in their plugs, rated to protect the cord?
This could prevent a lot of these fires caused by overloaded cords.
$$$ and if the cord is used as directed/intended, it will not cause a fire. Part of the problem is a typical extension cord is only 16 AWG wire. You plug that into a 20 amp house recep and you are just asking for problems.

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When it comes to electricity, people are very stupid.
I see the same thing happening when people use means to heat their homes when their gas gets cut off. There was a story of some folks using a charcoal grill in the house to heat it. Obviously it was discovered when they found their bodies.

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That's why we need legislation on the devices; people must be protected from themselves, especially in case of fire prevention, where injury and death often affects people not responsible for the cause.
Most of the time when I engineer something I believe is foolproof, some fool comes along and proves me wrong. You can only do so much and then, only if the rules are actually followed are those rules effective. You cannot prevent a person from jumping off a roof if they are dead set on doing it unless you prevent them from doing anything. Not going to happen.

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Old 07-03-2010, 11:19 AM   #3
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You can't legislate or design "stupid" out of people
In some cases I think that an electrician should be hired to do the repairs
Owner is then charged for the repairs
Tenants pay the rent to the City/Town until the repair is paid off

While I hate too much Govt intervention there are times when it is needed
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Old 07-03-2010, 12:37 PM   #4
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One fellow observed that the average person is pretty dumb and half the people are dumber than that!
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Old 07-03-2010, 01:13 PM   #5
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There are enough laws on the books----Leave us alone.

We don't need the police showing up in our homes,handcuffs out, because our extension cords aren't to some politicians liking.
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:56 PM   #6
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There are enough laws on the books----Leave us alone.

We don't need the police showing up in our homes,handcuffs out, because our extension cords aren't to some politicians liking.
Naw, you don't even need the police now that you can carry a piece!
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Old 07-03-2010, 10:10 PM   #7
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Extension cord fire


Actually the tenants should have stopped paying rent the moment the electric went out

The owner was living there & escaped:
http://firegeezer.com/2010/06/30/4-d...ng-house-fire/
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Old 07-03-2010, 10:50 PM   #8
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If there is any justice, the LL/owner will be charged with at least negligent homicide.
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Old 07-04-2010, 10:52 AM   #9
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Extension cord fire


I spent some time in Paterson quite a while ago but I understand that the place has pretty well gone downhill since then.
Nobody cares.

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