Some things we take for granted or ignore can very well lead to incidence of house fires.
Do you know that your home can go up in flames at any time? House fires happen more frequently than most people realize, and incidents can be caused by a number of common everyday objects, like light bulbs, lint, and even your laptop.
Become aware of the items and bad habits that can increase the risk of sending your home up in smoke:
Filthy cleaning cloths often pile up when you wax your car, clean your oven, or oil your furniture. Often people forget these rags and allow them to accumulate where they become fire hazards if exposed to flame or heat.
Sometimes when the cold season is in full swing, using an electric blanket to warm the chilly nights is a comfort. But the overuse of electric blankets can lead to fires, such as when pets snuggle up on top of them, or when people layer up additional comforters above them that cause a build-up of heat that may lead to fires in bed. Use the lowest heat setting on your electric blanket to help you keep warm at night instead.
Over 150,000 fires have been caused in last 10 years by defective appliances. Keep on the lookout for news reports of brands and companies recalling faulty appliances. And if you happen to own one of those, have them replaced immediately for your family’s and home’s safety.
Did you know dryer lint is flammable? The accumulation of loose threads and other tiny textile material that come off your clothes when you run them through the drying cycle on your machine can catch fire during excessive heat build-up. Remember to empty your dryer’s vents, lint filters and exhaust ducts on a regular basis to prevent fires from occurring.
One electronic device we take for granted a lot of the time, our laptops can become overheated and cause fires. This is especially true if we work in bed, lay them on top of rugs, or other flammable surfaces, which restrict the airflow through our laptops cooling vents underneath. Rest your laptop or netbook on a desk or hard flat surface instead.
What happens if you screw a 60-watt bulb into a 40-watt-capacity socket? An electrical fire, of course. Be aware of the maximum wattage for your home’s light fixtures and put in appropriate bulbs to prevent your house from going up in smoke.
While a lot of people use extension cords to remedy the lack of electrical outlets, this temporary solution, while convenient, can lead us to complacency about their use. Overloading extension cords with appliances and devices can lead to a power overload that can cause a short circuit and result in a fire. Hire a qualified electrician to install more power outlets instead.
Do-it-yourself projects can be fun and creative activities when you actually know what you are doing in the first place. However, if you begin dabbling in jobs involving electrical wiring, plumbing, or HVAC-related DIY projects without knowing the hazards that come with them, your home could be in danger from improper installation, electrical sparks, and even gas leaks from risky DIY ventures.
As unlikely as it seems, dust can be a fire hazard, particularly for the layers of dust that build up in and around appliances, electronic devices and sockets. Enough piles of dust can catch fire if not properly removed, so keep up up with your housekeeping and remember to dust electronics, as well.
Those 9-volt batteries you just toss into a kitchen or desk drawer? They’re fire hazards. If these potential bio-hazards come into contact with other metals like scissors, screws or paper clips, it ups the risk of shorting the battery terminals which can lead to a fire. Secure the terminals with electrical tape before storing them to prevent this risk.
If you have uninvited guests like rats in your home, these pests can potentially gnaw on the insular coating covering your electrical wiring. Exposed wires gradually heat up, and without their sheathing, cause short circuits that can lead to fires. Set up traps or call your exterminator if your spot a rodent in your home.
Chimneys bring warmth to your home. If you have an authentic smokestack, make sure you maintain your flues and keep them free from debris like dried leaves, dead birds, raccoon nests and creosote build-up that are potential fire hazards. Hire a professional chimney maintenance sweep to keep your chimneys clean at least once a year.
When you clean your stove and oven, don’t forget to give your range hood a once-over, as well. Accumulated grease in the range hood is a potential fire threat. So to prevent an overloaded hood from dripping its debris onto the stove top and causing a fire that can rapidly spread throughout your kitchen, make sure to wipe it down every night before bed.
Furniture is flammable, and if your sofa or favorite armchair is arranged quite close to your radiator, heater, fire pit, or chimney hearth, you’ve got a potential fire hazard right there, particularly if they become overheated. Make sure your furniture is at a safe distance from your home’s heat sources to prevent a fiery catastrophe.
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