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January has been a busy month for Idaho Falls Fire Department

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - A recent strand of fires in homes across Idaho Falls has kept the Idaho Fire department pretty busy.

There has been five different fires leaving homes in ruin, all of these are unrelated but have had similar causes.

Idaho Falls Fire Department Fire Prevention Captain Glade Prestwich says, "The majority of these fires have been electrical in nature, meaning that there's been some sort of malfunction in the home electrical system or the electrical appliance that has caused these fires."

While each fire has been unique in nature, the electrical issues are thanks to too many heating devices.

"So an electrical fire, meaning that this time of year, when it gets cold, people have a tendency to use space heaters, portable space heaters," Captain Prestwich said.

He says since it's unlikely every homeowner will know where each circuit is in their homes, to have one device per outlet.

"But ideally you'd want one appliance per circuit in the home," he said. "So bank of outlets, you know, just one heating appliance in there, so you're not trying to draw too many amps through that one circuit."

He says the danger is when people have more than one in the same general area.

"The other thing that tends to occur when when people plug too many appliances into one outlet, they trip breakers to home. The home electrical system is designed to keep people from drawing too much electricity. But again, sometimes people tend to try to defeat those safety measures that are in place. And still, you draw more amps than they should on a given circuit, creating the high resistance and ultimately the fire."

In case your home ends up going up in smoke, Captain Prestwich says one safety measure you can do is, "It's recommended to sleep with your bedroom doors closed. So if a fire starts in the home, it gives you that extra barrier of protection from the from the smoke and the heat."

By taking all of these steps you may be able to avoid seeing your home go ablaze.

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Braydon Wilson

Braydon is a reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.


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