Modesto Apartment Fire Shows Risks of Window Air Conditioners



A few weeks ago, we posted a blog post discussing the danger posed by window-mounted air conditioners. In that article, we noted that one of the key causes of air conditioner fires is using extension cords to power window units. This is because extension cords are too high of a gauge—they are too thin—to handle the current necessary to power a window AC. When used to power an air conditioner, these cords will overheat, and can cause a fire.

 

Unfortunately, an apartment fire in Modesto last month illustrated the exact scenario described above. At nearly 5 am on July 28th, a fire was reported at an apartment complex that happened to be across the street from the Modesto Fire Department. Thanks to the Fire Department’s proximity, they were able to respond within minutes of the fire starting, and nobody was injured.

However, two units were seriously damaged, displacing nearly 20 people. The fire caused approximately $100,000 in damage, and there are concerns that the fire damaged wiring and plumbing serving other units in the complex, necessitating the shutdown of electricity, gas, and water.

Investigators at the scene determined that the residents of the unit where the fire started were using a window-mounted air conditioner powered by cord insufficient to meet the unit’s power demands.

Central air conditioners can help save lives and homes.

We understand that for many, window-mounted air conditioners are an attractive option. They are inexpensive, and easy to install in older homes and apartment complexes. However, the safety of a window unit is entirely dependent upon the owner’s or tenant’s ability and willingness to operate it in a safe manner.

While no air conditioning solution can be considered to be 100% safe, central air conditioning systems offer a significant safety advantage when a trained expert handles the wiring and installation of the system.

If you are a homeowner or apartment complex owner considering options for keeping your property cool during Central California’s hot summer season, Gilmore Heating Air & Solar can help. Give us a call at 888-868-2316, or send us a message through our website’s contact form.

Our representatives will be happy to talk to you about your options, and help you identify the most efficient, cost effective, and safe way to keep your property cool and comfortable.