Sinks, tubs, showers, and toilets bring hundreds of gallons of water in and out of the bathroom every week. Although the primary risk to your home is through water damage, your bathroom can also have damaging fires. With all that electricity flowing in the same space, reduce the chances of fire damage and restoration costs by knowing your risks.
Water carries electricity efficiently. But, if the two mix, the result can be deadly. So, the bathroom is possibly the most dangerous room in the house. The consequences of an electric shock are far more severe in a bathroom or shower room as wet skin reduces the body’s resistance.
There are special requirements for electrical installations in bathrooms; all electrical work must comply with local building regulations. Sockets are not allowed in bathrooms or shower rooms unless they can be fitted an acceptable distance from the bath or shower to avoid splashes. Make sure that appliances are installed or located with adequate space from any source of water. Unplug electrical appliances when not in use. Never leave the bathroom while appliances are on.
Check wires and cords for appliances used in the bathroom.
Avoid overloading the circuits in the bathroom. Don’t run portable heaters, TVs, and multiple heated hair devices at the same time. Lastly, space heaters need space. Keep combustibles such as clothes and towels at least three feet away from the heater.
Everyday light switches are a danger because of dampness and wet hands. Enclosed ceiling lights are preferable to the ones that hang down. All light fittings, that are not enclosed, should be out of reach of someone using, or still wet from using, the bath or shower.
Central heating is the safest way to keep a bathroom warm. But if you do have an electric heater, it must be fixed at a safe distance from the bath or shower. Electric and gas water heaters in a bathroom must be fixed and permanently wired, unless they are powered by a socket fitted many feet away from a bath or shower.
Warm towels are a luxurious end to a relaxing shower. But draping the fabric over any electrical device can be damaged. Only use UL approved towel warmers that are properly installed.
Exhaust fans are found in most residences and many commercial properties to help prevent steamed up mirrors, damp walls, and fogged windows along with removing odors. However, bathroom exhaust fan lint is a fire hazard. If not cleaned and maintained, over time build up lint and dust can cause the motor to overheat and ignite. Then the housing, fan blades and the structure can burn.
These fans are not designed to last forever and many are original installs. Older exhaust fans are not thermally protected. Thermal protection causes the motor to shut off should they seize and overheat. This safety feature has been available since the late 1970’s, but was not widely used until the early 1990’s. If you have a bathroom exhaust fan in your home, clean it twice a year. If it starts to make noises or smells odd, it’s time to replace it.
Nothing is more relaxing than an evening bubble bath, soft music and candlelight. But take necessary precautions. Place candles in safe, nonflammable holders. Always extinguish them completely before you leave the bathroom.
After a fire in your home, your best chance to save your valuable possessions and restore your peace of mind is to take immediate action. First call the trusted Five Valley crew of professional fire damage cleanup technicians. Then call the insurance agent. While you are starting the insurance claim paperwork, Five Valley will drop everything and rush to you. When it comes to restoring your home, every second counts.
As a family run company, they will smooth out the bumps in a stressful situation. They take care of every detail: initial cleanup, take down, final repair. Call to your Five Valleys team now for more information about all the services available in Missoula.