Peter McCarthy Electric Co., Inc. - Specializing in Older Buildings in Chicago
Adventures in Old House Wiring....

Hoarding is a FIRE HAZARD!!!

Old wiring replacement
Vintage wiring replacement
Hi Everybody!

The Summer started out busy and just keeps getting busier. Thank you!!!   I have a couple big projects to talk about soon, one we just finished and the other we will be starting up. But in the meantime, I have meant to post this info for a while now.

The practice of "Hoarding" has begun to be studied and understood as a mental health condition. To what degree, I don't know since I'm not a psychologist. But at least a name for this behavior that is taking hold in the media and popular culture. I just wanted to take a minute to point out what a FIRE HAZARD hoarding can be! The NFPA made it a cover story a few months back. I was reminded of this when I had to look at a 6-flat basement here in Hyde Park for quoting a new 600 Amp Service. It was next to impossible to find a clear path for all the books, old computers, and general "stuff" that was overflowing in the common area. I had to write in my contract that these rooms must be emptied before work could begin.

I have seen this a lot. Since we Hyde Parkers tend to be scholars and ex-graduate students, boxes and boxes of books can be stored in the basement.  Please remember these are HIGHLY combustible. When so much stuff gets stacked and crammed into an apartment or basement, it can make it impossible for the fire fighters to find their way around in a dark basement to find power shut-offs.

Please be safe out there everyone, and if your building's basement is out of control, don't be shy about raising the issue. It could save someone's life.

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