In the U.S., fire departments respond to one fire every 88 seconds, according to the National Fire Protection Association. There are plenty of obvious fire dangers throughout your home (leaving the fireplace going overnight or cooking fires, for example) but there are plenty of hidden dangers you should be aware of as well. Oft tiny, overlooked things can lead to destruction. Here are a few of which you should be aware.
Batteries: All batteries can pose a fire risk but 9-volt batteries are the biggest culprit. Because their terminals are so close together, it’s easier for them to short. To avoid this problem, store batteries in a battery case, keep them in their packaging, or store them upright with electrical tape over the ends. Also be sure not to store batteries next to metal (loose keys, steel wool, etc).
Dust bunnies: Dusting is a chore that is often overlooked. Who’s actually looking at that desk to see how dusty it is, right? Bad idea! If too many dust bunnies gather near a damaged electrical cord or loose outlet, they will spark and cause a fire.
Gas water heater: Do you have a gas water heater? Is it near your washer & dryer? Piling clothing too close to a gas water heater can ignite a fire. In fact, appliances like this cause 7% of home fires and 4% of deaths.
Antiques: Antiques are great fun to shop for and beautiful objects to have in your home, but be careful! Because of their age, they might have faulty wiring which could be a danger. Always check the wiring in any antiques you purchase and replace it if necessary.
Laptop: You’ve probably noticed how hot your laptop gets when you use it for a long while. Believe it or not, it can actually get hot enough to catch fire. Put it on a soft surface like a blanket and you could soon be in trouble. Try to use your laptop at a desk or on a laptop stand when possible.
Damaged electrical equipment: Electrical equipment causes 9 percent of home fires and 10 percent of deaths. That’s because electrical equipment that’s damaged can overheat and catch fire. You’d think noticing things like frayed & damaged electric cords would be easily noticed, but that’s not necessarily the case. How often do you check power cords that are under the bed or behind the sofa? Do you often walk over cords (hidden under carpets, for example)? That, too, can damage cords.
Sawdust: Here’s an item you’d likely never consider, but sawdust is highly combustible. Leaving piles of sawdust next to wiring or metal objects that could collide & spark or even chemicals can spark a fire. Be sure to sweep up after your projects.
Coffee pot: Here’s one you might not suspect, but your coffee maker can overheat and start a fire. Particularly coffee makers that have plastic parts - if you leave those on too long, they get too hot. So don’t leave your coffee maker on for hours at a time or leave it unattended.
Dirty Stove: It’s pretty obvious that your stove can be the source of a home fire, but did you know that cleaning it will lessen the chances? If your stove is covered with grease and other flammable grime, a small kitchen fire can get out of hand quickly, so clean and clear the area around the stove before turning on the heat.
Last, but not least, remember that your dryer vent can also cause a fire in your home if it’s not properly cleaned.Schedule your professional dryer vent cleaning at least once per year. Our Wizards are professionals, equipped with the right tools and expertise who can clear your dryer vent in no time.
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