A fire in the basement of a Malcolm Road home Monday has been ruled accidental, officials said.
Fire investigators with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department said an electrical multi-plug in a basement bedroom caused the fire that displaced four adults and one child from their single-family home.
The occupants were home at the time of the fire at 510 Malcolm Road, which was reported around 5:38 p.m. Monday, and escaped unharmed before the firefighters arrived.
Firefighters saw smoke coming from the basement upon their arrival. They knocked down the fire around 6 p.m., a dispatcher said Monday.
Damage is estimated at $60,000.
The incident shut down the portion of Malcolm Road from just before Lincoln Street NW to the intersection of Malcolm Road, Nutley Street and West Street on Monday night.
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue offers the following electrical safety tips:
- Replace or repair loose or frayed cords on all electrical devices.
- Avoid overloading outlets. Plug only one high-wattage appliance into each receptacle outlet at a time.
- If your power goes out a lot or the lights in your home flicker, smell bad, or make noise, have an electrician come in to inspect your wiring.
- The electrical outlet in the bathroom should have a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI). This is a tool that protects you from dangerous shock when water and electricity come together. An electrician can install a GFCI for you.
- All electrical outlets and switches should be covered by “face plates.”
- When possible, avoid the use of “cube taps” and other devices that allow the connection of multiple appliances into a single receptacle.
- Inspect electrical cords to make sure they are in good condition.
- Consider having additional circuits or outlets added by a qualified electrician so you do not have to use extension cords.
- Don't tie or knot electrical cords.
- Don't let furniture sit on electrical cords.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instruction for plugging an appliance into a receptacle outlet.
This article has been corrected to show damage has been estimated at $60,000. Incorrect information was provided.