It’s not a rare thing to hear that somebody’s home had caught on fire but I guess that, although we all feel sad because of it, not many people actually stops to think, “Hey, wait, that could happen to me too!” Accidents don’t always happen to other people so the topic of my today’s mile long story is exactly that – potential fire hazards and ways to avoid them…
1. Clothes Dryer
Believe it or not, these common household items are responsible for 80% of fires and injuries caused by fire in residential buildings all over USA. Since clothes dryer dries your clothes by simply pumping in hot hair while tumbling and releasing damp air, any improper or irregular maintenance can be a serious fire hazard. What you need to do is frequently check and clean linen filter and vent pipes and make sure each part is secured to the dryer once the maintenance and cleaning has been done.
I don’t have to tell you how dangerous these things can be when left lit and unattended. If you are a smoker, you know how expensive that habit is anyways, so why make it even more costly by leaving your lit cigarettes around? Don’t smoke while you’re in bed or laying on the couch, watching TV and feeling extra sleepy because you might doze off and wake up surrounded by flames. Even your trashcan can be a source of fire, that is, if you empty your ashtray without checking if all cigarette buds are cold. So, be careful when you are playing with fire because I’m sure you don’t want to end up being burned or homeless.
3. Christmas Tree
Lights on your Christmas tree are risky fire starters and since a tree burns easily, plus we all hang a lot of highly inflammable decorations, that’s probably the first thing that’s going to catch on fire, if you get too distracted by the holiday cheer. So, here’s what you need to do. First of all, don’t leave the lights on overnight and remember to turn them off whenever you leave the house. Get a fire extinguisher and keep it at hand at all times. Get one of those regulating extension cords with a few sockets that either balance out fluctuations in electric current or cut off power when the voltage delivered to you is bigger than your appliances can handle. These things are a bit more expensive than the regular extension cords but they can save your computer too so consider it an investment.
4. Portable Electric and Gas Heaters
When shopping for an electric heater, always remember to pick the one that has the automatic shut down mechanism. This thing may be worth a couple of bucks more but it pays out big time in the long run because it will turn off the appliance if it gets knocked over or overheats. Gas heaters require some special attention so if you have opted for these, make sure you place them somewhere where there is no inflammable objects and where they can’t be knocked over.
5. Electric Blankets and Pillows
They are the most perfect winter appliance but they need to be handled with care too. Make sure they have a safety switch too and, in case you have them for a long time and the cables are looking a bit shabby, go get them replaced. If the heating products is relatively new, check the warranty before you get this done – maybe it’s still valid and, in that case, you’ll get your good night’s rest and cables replaced for free!
6. Bathroom Fire Hazards
Bathroom can be a dangerous place too! Be mindful of how you store your hairstyling electrical appliances and, if you happen to have a sink built in a cupboard, make sure it’s not leaking. Attempting to use a wet electrical appliance will not only start a fire but hurt you too! Now, that’s not the only fire hazard here – there’s plenty of other potentially dangerous products to mention like hairsprays, aerosols and most of your standard disinfection liquids. Do not keep these next to any source of heat because you might hear a big bang followed by an even bigger fire.
7. Open Fires
Fireplaces and candles are incredibly romantic, so let’s just stick with that and handle them with care. The only flames you need around are the ones caused by passion, not household items burning. I prefer floating candles because they don’t only look good but are a much safer option too. If something happens with the candle, it will tilt into a large bowl of water and the problem is solved. Fireplaces are a bit tricky because you can’t just turn them off when you get sleepy but, if you have one, I’m sure you know how to dose woods in order to have only hot pile of ashes around your estimated bedtime.
Every little corner of your house can be potentially dangerous so keep that in mind and always remember to handle all electrical appliances and other things that might cause a fire, with care. Have you heard about any domestic fires recently and do you know what caused them?
Top Photo Credit: Sean Rogers1