You think that you’ve made your home safe from fire, but it’s amazing just how many hidden dangers are considered a fire hazard. In most cases, a lack of maintenance or oversight can lead to a fire breaking out in seconds.
Now, you can’t stop every fire in its tracks, and it’s always a good idea to have a fire escape plan. However, if you want to reduce the risk of fire, check out this list of fire risks that you didn’t even know could happen in your home.
1. A Dirty Stove
Yes, a dirty stove may lead to a fire in your kitchen as you cook. Even if you give the stove a quick wipe over to keep it clean, that may not be enough to keep it clean enough. Grease and burned-on food can get into all the cracks and crevices, especially around the burners. It’s a good idea to regularly take all the parts off and clean them, using a toothbrush to get into all the crevices that you can’t reach with a sponge alone. This will remove all the flammable items that could cause problems for you.
2. Putting the Heat Up Too High When You Cook
Staying in the kitchen, have you noticed that many recipes only ask you to cook at 350 degrees when you’re making dinner? That’s because if you crank the heat too high, you could actually cause a fire. The higher the heat, the more likely you are to see smoke or grease boiling when you’re cooking. If you do see this when you’re cooking, turn down the heat right away so you can stay safe.
3. Flammable Items Near the Stove
Finally, for the kitchen, pay attention to what you’re keeping near the stove. You may think those curtains or the towels are out of reach, but if they’re nudged even a little bit then you can find that they quickly catch fire. It’s best to keep all flammable items as far away from the stove as possible. It’s always a good idea to keep a fire blanket or extinguisher in the kitchen too, just in case.
4. Smoke Alarms
Yes, really. Your smoke alarms are going to protect you in the event of a fire, but they can only do that if you’re properly maintaining them. It’s usually best to check them twice a year when the clocks change. That way you should find it easy to remember to do it. Press the ‘test’ button to ensure that there’s still power and that the machine works. Plus, change out the batteries. That way, if your power is out, the smoke detector can still alert you to danger.
5. Lint in Your Dryer
How often do you clean out the lint in your dryer? If you can’t remember the last time you did so, go pull the lint trap out now and clean it. It’s amazing how quickly the lint builds up, and it can catch alight if it overheats in the dryer. Make it a habit to clean it out every time you pull dry laundry out of the dryer.
Are you somewhat of a DIY buff? That’s great for the home, as you can easily mend things around the property. However, it can lead to a potential safety hazard. Sawdust is highly combustible, and if you leave it lying around, it’s a fire waiting to happen. Whenever you work with wood, make sure you clean up any sawdust as you go. Electrical wiring shorting out, or sparks from other manufacturing equipment, can easily catch that sawdust on fire.
7. Antique Electronics
Are you someone who loves to collect antiques? They come with all kinds of safety hazards, due to laxer safety laws at the time the pieces were made. Something you do need to watch out for, according to the Family Handyman, is antique electronics. These will have older wiring, and that tends to dry out and become brittle over time. That makes it much more flammable, and when combined with electricity it’s a fire waiting to happen.
When looking at any older appliances, such as light fixtures, look for an Underwriters Laboratories label on it. These are the labs that test items for safety, so you can be sure that they have tested this item and deemed it safe.
This is surprising, but the glassware in your home has been linked to fires in the past. If things like jars or drinking glasses are placed in direct sunlight, those sun rays can become concentrated enough to start ablaze. You’ll need to reduce the heat coming into the room or place the glasses someplace where they aren’t in direct sunlight.
9. Your Laptop
In this modern age, there are going to be one or more laptops in your home. That’s especially true right now, while everyone is working from home. If you’re using your laptop more than usual, take care to use it in a place where there’s plenty of airflow. A laptop kept on top of something flammable and kept running can get hot enough to start a fire. One condo was burned down in Virginia as a laptop was kept on top of a comforter, and that allowed it to catch alight. Be careful whenever you use your laptop.
10. Dust Bunnies Under Your Bed
Finally, have you been putting off cleaning under your furniture? Then you’ll want to right away when you realize that they can help ignite sparks coming from plug sockets and other electricals. They also help spread the fire quickly, so ensure that you clean them out regularly. It’ll also help with allergies in the home too, so there are lots of reasons to clean under the furniture on a schedule.
Fire Hazard Conclusion
These are just a few of the fire hazards in your home that you may not have been aware of. Take care of your home by avoiding these risks, and you’ll be much safer from fire. It doesn’t take long and will bring you peace of mind.