January 12, 2016
There are fire hazards around the home that many people are aware of like fireplace safety and responsible candle use. Yet in 2013, there were still over 350,000 home fires in the United States. Why are there still so many home fires in the country this day and age? The only conclusion is there are many hidden dangers that go undetected by the average person.
Here is a simple guide to some of the hidden dangers of your home that could be putting your family at risk this very moment:
Dust is not only a nuisance around the house, it can also be very dangerous. Make sure to dust often as collections of dust can become kindling around different areas of the home. Places like space heaters, electronics, electrical sockets, and power strips are susceptible to potential dust ignition.
Many of us remember taking a magnifying glass and burning toys with sunlight as children. But did you know that many types of glassware can have the same affect? Glasses and vases can concentrate sunlight into a ray that might be enough to ignite combustible materials. To be safe, keep all glassware away from windows at all times.
Many people have a junk drawer that all kind of loose material gets tossed into. Better to have it all inside a drawer than on a counter right? But that drawer could be a source of danger. Different kinds of batteries, especially 9-Volt, can generate heat if the ports were to come in contact with metal. It is always best to keep new batteries in their original packaging or to cover the ports with electrical tape if they have to be loose.
Older homes are especially susceptible to wiring related fires. Loose electrical sockets are a common indicator of old wiring in a home. If a socket cannot easily hold a plug, then it is most likely time to replace it. Other wiring that is frayed or exposed is also dangerous and should be replaced as soon as possible.
Exposed Light bulbs
While light bulbs generate illumination for an area, they also generate heat. If something flammable was to come in contact with an exposed light bulb that has been on for a long time it might ignite. The most common origin for this occurrence is in a closet where 12% of home fires begin.
Videogames and Laptops
PlayStations and Xboxes are very complex electronics. Along with laptops, they form a unique trio of potentially hazardous items because they generate a lot of heat while in use. Make sure any gaming system is stored properly with nothing flammable on top of it or below it. Laptops should always have room to allow airflow around and beneath them as well. Doing so will make your electronics and your home function properly for a long time.
One of the more surprising hidden home dangers is fertilizer. It can be extremely dangerous. The material is highly combustible and increases in flammable potency as it ages. The key to properly handing the storage of fertilizer is to make sure it is not exposed to direct sunlight or any electrical sockets. Either of those sources could ignite a very serious fire in a short time.
Most people know they need to clean their lint traps on clothes dryers after every use. But they forget to clean out the lint vents, as well as the dryer cabinet. While the vents and cabinet do not need to be cleaned after every use, they should still be cleaned on a regular basis. Both can accumulate enough dust and lint to become an ignition source for a fire, especially in the dryer cabinet which houses the heating element for the dryer itself.
For more information on fire life safety protection and prevention, please check out our blog.