House fires are often unexpected and can cause major damage and devastation. Fire fighters respond to about 370,000 home fires a year. Most people think they know all the potential fire hazards in their home. However, there are a number of possible fire hazards around your home that you may not be aware of.
Electrical fires cause more than 50,000 home blazes a year. Most people don’t realize wiring can be a potential danger because it is out of sight, behind walls. A simple task such as drilling nails into your wall to hang a picture can pierce wiring, causing a fire.
To avoid electrical fires, replace circuit breakers with arc-fault circuit interrupters. Arc-fault circuit interrupters detect abnormal sparks that signal bad insulation or loose connections and stop them before they cause a fire.
Cooking accidents are the leading cause of house fires. Most of the time, when a burner on a stove is being used, the whole stovetop heats up. If you have paper towels or recipe cards setting near your stove top, they will most likely catch on fire. The heat venting from a stove is usually enough to burn plastic and start a fire with just about anything laying around it. Keep your stovetop completely clean and clear of flammable materials when you’re cooking on one of the burners.
Emptying your lint tray after every load of laundry might not be enough to prevent a fire. Material still builds up inside the dryer cabinet which is located at the back or bottom of your dryer. If enough lint accumulates here, it can cause a fire. To limit this danger, hire a professional to clean your dryer cabinet every two years.
If you have an gaming system or laptop at home, you may want to be careful about where you set them. These devices have interior fans to keep them cool and can easily become overheated, especially if they’re closed in an entertainment center or near other electronics.
Store gaming devices on their own shelf with nothing above or below them. Make sure your laptops are stored out in the open with no paper or debris around them.
The blades in electrical outlets can loosen over time. You will notice when this starts to happen if you plug in an appliance and the cord falls out easily. Loose blades can generate intense heat that could start a fire. This may seem like a small issue, but don’t ignore it. When you notice plugs becoming loose, replace them as soon as possible.
While vintage appliances may look cool and still work, they were made according to older safety codes and may have frayed or damaged wires. These older appliances can result in a home fire. Try to stick with newer appliances just to stay on the safe side.
Dust And Lint
A little dust on the windowsill isn’t an issue, but when dust and lint accumulate around electrical outlets or floor heaters, this can cause problems. Large amounts of dust or lint near electrical outlets can act as kindling if sparks fly. Dust can also clog electrical outlets or heater intake valves causing them to overheat.
Make sure when you vacuum your home that you spend extra time behind entertainment centers, near coords and power strips.
It’s easy to think that a house fire won’t happen to you, but fires are more common than you think. Luckily, house fires are preventable if you are diligent about assessing potential fire risks around your home.
Trisha Banks is a blogger for Steamers Carpet Care in San Antonio, Texas. Trisha wants to know what potential fire hazards there are around her home.