It has been a sad week for my local reef club. A week ago, one of our members had a fire at his house. The fire did major damage to the house and killed the family cat. There is now a 10′ hole in the first floor above where the fire was and the backside of the house is severely burned. The cause has been pinpointed to his fish room.
The fire marshal is thinking that it may be because he had multiple power strips plugged into a single outlet, but the reason has yet to be determined. It may have been from some other area in the fish room, but the fire has been determined to have started in the fish room. Let this be a reminder to everyone that this can be a dangerous hobby. This fire happened to someone that has been keeping reef tanks for years and just built a new house 2 years ago with a built in-wall 180gal, primarily SPS reef tank. Behind his tank, he had a fish room that was built specifically for his fish tanks. He went through a ton of planning while designing his house to make sure that something like this would never happen. Unfortunately, it did.
Here are a few tips on what ALL fish tanks should have:
- GFCI outlets on all plug ins
- Only one powerstrip, maximum, per outlet
- Use good powerstrips/timers that are designed to handle the load of your equipment
- Install your outlets in areas that are not subject to moisture/spillage
- Install drip loops on all power chords
- Install equipment in a way that water willÂ get into equipment thatÂ is not rated for submersion