Holes in South Georgia roofs could be electrical fire danger - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Holes in South Georgia roofs could be electrical fire danger

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Officials are giving South Georgia storm victims a warning that could save their homes and maybe even their lives.

Firefighters and electricians are warning storm damaged home owners that recent rain storms could actually pose a fire danger.

There are still many storm damaged homes with tarps on their roofs, nearly five months after they were damaged.  

With repeated rains, the electrical systems in storm damaged attics may be getting wet.

"Unfortunately a lot of the storm houses, have the older type wiring in them. Which is wrapped in cloth and paper. And it just soaks water up," said A. West Enterprise's Service manager Kevin Rich.

Experts said that even if you have not had problems so far, continued rains could be wetting your electrical junction boxes or weakened wiring, and end up shorting out the wiring or causing it to get too hot. That could be a fire hazard.

"You still see some tarps on roofs. Folks are also still waiting on contractors to get done with work to get to them as well," explained American Red Cross Southwest Georgia Chapter Executive Director Andy Brubaker.

Electrical experts said older wiring can get brittle when wet, and disturbing that wiring can lead to problems.

"If you got some people working on your house," said Rich. "Walking around in the attic, stepping on it, there is a good chance the insulation has been knocked off of it.  That needs to be fixed."

Firefighters said that the more time your tarp is on top of your house,  the more water could be leaking into your attic. So they recommend making sure the holes in your roof stay protected.

"If you still have tarps up, I would say make sure you secure them. An additional tarp," said Dougherty County EMA Specialist Jenna Wirtz. 

Keeping the wiring in your attic dry and covered is essential, because electricity and water do not mix.

Electricity experts recommend storm victims have their homes electrical systems checked while repairs are made, especially when there have been holes punched in older homes' roofs.

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