There's nothing more heartbreaking than hearing when tragedy strikes a family. It's especially troubling when you find out that the horrific event could have been prevented.
That's exactly the case in a recent fire that turned fatal. A man died earlier this month in the famous Trump Tower building in New York.
In case you missed it, 67-year-old Todd Brassner died after a fire broke out in the unit he lived in. You're not going to believe the simple tech mistake that caused the blaze.
What went wrong?
According to the New York Fire Department, the fatal 4-alarm fire was accidental and electrical. It was caused by multiple power strips that were connected and supplying power to numerous components. The FDNY posted the following message detailing the fire on Twitter.
Per #FDNY Fire Marshals: Cause of the 4/7 fatal 4-alarm fire at 721 5th Ave Manhattan was accidental, electrical - sequenced power strips powering multiple components. Smoke alarm not present in fire apartment https://t.co/vS8XYE5o4A
— FDNY (@FDNY) April 16, 2018
Take a look at the following Tweet. The FDNY posted a GIF of the actual fire while it was burning.
#FDNY members remain on scene of a 4-alarm fire, 721 5th Ave in Manhattan. There is currently one serious injury to a civilian, and 3 non-life-threatening injuries to Firefighters, reported pic.twitter.com/c7qeOlDVcf
— FDNY (@FDNY) April 7, 2018
Problem Number One
Connecting several power strips is a terrible idea. That's because they can easily overheat and quickly turn into tragedy. Cheap extension cords can also be dangerous. You should never use them to power things like home appliances or space heaters.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) said that cords and plugs were responsible for 10 percent of overall home structure fires from 2010-2014. During that time-frame, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 31,960 non-confined home structure fires involving electrical distribution or lighting equipment. These fires resulted in 400 civilian deaths.
Problem Number Two
Brassner's apartment had other problems that played a role in the fatal fire. For one, investigators said that the unit did not have smoke alarms, which is a violation of city law. There were smoke alarms in the building's heating and ventilation system that helped notify fire officials of the incident.
His apartment also lacked a sprinkler system. This isn't required by law but it certainly could have helped.
This tragedy could have been prevented. It's important to practice safety when using technology and know the dangers that come with it. You don't want to put your life in danger by making simple mistakes like stringing together power strips.