State farm fire prevention project tests electrical wiring sensors for problems

State Farm fire prevention - wires in walls
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The insurance company is sending homeowners sensors in a pilot testing for electrical defects.

A new State Farm fire prevention program pilot has launched. It will use sensors to detect electrical wiring hazards in 40,000 homes in California, Texas, and Arizona.

The goal is to provide consumers with a way to prevent electrical wiring fires and measure savings.

The State Farm fire prevention pilot will send the sensors to the homeowners to measure customer acceptance and potential savings if the program were to be broadened. The insurer’s vice president and leader of its Red Labs team, Mike Fields, explained that customers who enroll in the project will be sent a free Ting sensor. They will also receive up to $1,000 in free repairs if the sensor detects any electrical wiring problems.

Ting sensors are manufactured by Whisker Labs and come with a retail price tag of $349. That said, participants won’t have to pay anything for theirs. Using the sensor is easy. Once it is plugged into a wall socket, it is capable of detecting damaged wires, loose connections, or even faulty appliances. According to the manufacturer’s website, the sensor works by detecting tiny electrical arcs. Those arcs represent the first sign before a serious and imminent risk of fire. If detected, the device alerts the homeowner through their smartphone.

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The hope is that the sensors in the State Farm fire prevention program will help to prevent expensive disasters.

“We know it works in the home,” explained Fields. “We want to know the acceptance rate for homeowners.”

If homeowners are willing to participate in this type of program, it could prove beneficial to them and to the insurance company alike. According to the insurer, electrical fires comprise 13 percent of all home blazes and result in around $1.3 billion in damages in the United States every year. The average home’s damage from an electrical fire is $100,000.

“No one wants to see those fires,” added Fields discussing the importance of the State Farm fire prevention - wires in wallsState Farm fire prevention project. “The device is simple… We wanted to wait and make sure that there was an easy and simple way for customers to install it.”

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