6 Hidden Home Fire Hazards

Dated: 06/02/2017

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6 Hidden Home Fire Hazards

hidden-home-fire-hazards

The chances of your home catching fire probably seems pretty remote to most people. However, nobody ever expects their home to catch fire and most all of us know someone who has lost their home (or had a close call) due to an unexpected fire. Typically, the cause of the fire is something they didn’t see coming. I remember watching a news story a few years back where it showed with a hidden camera how fast a fire will spread in a home. I knew it was fast....but this was unbelievable! It showed a Christmas Tree that caught fire from a spark and the fire moved onto the walls, ceilings, furniture and covered the entire room in seconds (they had a timer going to see how many seconds it took to cover the entire house.) It was clear that you only have a few minutes to get out once a fire starts spreading.  REMEMBER TO INSTALL SMOKE DETECTORS AND TEST THEM REGULARLY!


Here are a few unexpected things to watch out for in your home to keep your family safe


1.) Wiring

Out of sight, out of mind is the general philosophy when it comes to wiring. But if you’re mounting an item to your wall, it’s really easy to accidentally pierce a wire with a screw or nail, and BOOM, you’ve got a hazard. To avoid this, replace standard circuit breakers with arc-fault circuit interrupters — they detect dangerous electrical arcs and stop them before they spark a flame. Additionally, using a stud finder with built-in cable detector can alert you if there is a live wire in the area you are working.

2.) Old Appliances

Vintage is hot right now, but older appliances were built according to antiquated safety mandates and they are much more likely to catch fire. 

3.) Overheating Laptops

Your computer can get pretty hot after a few hours of extended use. And leaving it on soft surfaces like your bed or couch can restrict the airflow in your machine, cause it to overheat and catch fire. To prevent this, keep your laptop on a table or other hard surface that enables proper ventilation.

4.) 9-Volt Batteries

9-volt batteries (as well as other batteries) are something nobody thinks about as a fire hazard, but keep them loose in a drawer, and you may be headed for disaster. When loose batteries come into contact with metal objects like nails and coins, the two terminals could short out and generate enough heat to ignite other flammables in the drawer (I have seen news stories on families that lost their home due to batteries and I have to admit I am guilty of leaving them in drawers.)  Remember to cover the terminals of 9-volt batteries with electrical tape, or keep them in their original packaging — never loose to roll around with other metals.

5.)Loose Wall Outlets

Have you ever plugged in an appliance and found that there was a lot of play in the outlet? That’s because the blades within a wall socket tend to loosen over time, and that looseness can generate enough heat to start a fire. The moment you sense a bit of looseness in your wall outlets, replace them immediately.

6.) Lint Traps and Dryer Fires

A majority of dryer fires occur as a result of highly flammable lint getting caught in the dryer’s vent and becoming heated to the point of ignition. Most dryers come with lint traps or filters designed to capture the lint. These filters, however, don't capture all of the lint. Be aware that half of all dryer fires, typically start from within lint traps. 

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