Even if you are the safest candle user and conscious of fireplace safety, there could still be fire hazards lurking all over your home. According to the National Fire Protection Association, in the United States in 2014, there were 494,000 reported structural fires that caused a whopping $9.8 billion dollars in property damage. Why are there so many fires in today’s day and age? These hidden dangers that go undetected by most are a huge culprit.
Here are a few seemingly innocent hazards that could be putting you and your loved ones at risk:
- Wiring – An especially prevalent threat to older homes, wiring is an all too common cause of house fires. Wiring that may be frayed or exposed is incredibly dangerous and should be replaced as soon as possible. Loose electrical sockets are a common indicator that wiring in a home is old. If a socket can’t hold a plug, it is time to have things inspected.
- Dust Bunnies – In addition to causing sneezing fits and allergies, dust can also be very dangerous. Collections of dust may act as kindling around different areas of the home, such as electronics, electrical sockets, power strips, and dryers. It is best to clean and dust your home frequently to prevent any kind of danger.
- Glassware – Glass isn’t only dangerous when it is broken. Do you remember using a magnifying glass to burn things with sunlight when you were younger? Many kinds of glassware can actually have the same effect. Glasses, vases, and other types of glassware may concentrate light into a ray that can be strong enough to ignite flammable materials. It is the smartest choice to keep glass away from direct sunlight and windows if possible.
- Exposed Light Bulbs – Light bulbs generate both illumination and head. If something flammable was to come into contact with a bulb for a while, it could ignite. This is a common problem in closets, where an astounding 12% of house fires actually begin.
- Loose Batteries – Do you have a junk drawer where you keep household odds and ends? If you throw batteries in there, you could have a serious problem. Different kinds of batteries (especially 9-volt and above) may generate heat if their ports come into contact. It is best to keep new batteries in their original packaging or, if they must be loose, cover ports with electrical tape.
- Video Gaming Systems and Laptops – As you play video games for extended periods of time, your Play Station or Xbox is generating large amounts of heat that could potentially start a fire if placed around flammable materials. Laptops require enough room to properly ventilate for both the benefit of the machine and to ensure that a fire is not started. Giving both of these kinds of electronics room to “breathe” is a good way to ensure they are safe.
- Dryers – Most people remember the clean their lint traps after completing a load of laundry, but what about the lint vents and dryer cabinets? While the do not need to be cleaned after every single use, they should be cleaned on a regular basis as they may collect enough lint and dust to become an ignition source for a fire.