The more you know, the safer you can keep your home (and family) from serious dangers like fire. There are a number of common fire hazards you might not have thought of. Read on to see how to make your home more fire-proof.
1. Dryer Lint
Make sure your dryer’s lint catcher is cleaned every time you use the machine. Lint is flammable and it can build up quickly, especially when you dry heavier materials like towels. With how hot dryers can get, a lint trap neglected for too long can catch fire and lead to big trouble.
You’ve probably noticed how hot your laptop feels when you’ve been using it for a while. They have fans built in to help disperse the heat, but if you keep your laptop on the wrong kind of surface, you can actually block the vent and keep the fan from doing its job (assuming it does it well in the first place).
Don’t leave laptops on soft surfaces like beds, couches, or blankets. Fabrics around the laptop can keep air from circulating near the laptop fan, and you can end up with a dangerous buildup of heat surrounded by flammable materials.
3. 9-Volt Batteries
Be very careful about storing 9-volt batteries. Because 9-volts have both positive and negative nodes together on the same side, if the top of a 9-volt rubs against something metal, you could have a very dangerous situation.
In fact, in Pennsylvania home fire started in a junk drawer because a 9-volt battery was kept in a bag with other loose batteries and ended up igniting one of them. So make sure you store and dispose of batteries properly. You may also want to use electrical tape to securely cover the nodes of loose 9-volt batteries.
Layers of dust building up around electrical sockets and power strips can be a real hazard. A spark or simply a build-up of heat from the sockets and plugs can ignite dust. So keep the areas around sockets and strips clean, especially the ones that might be behind furniture (like a TV stand or computer desk), since you may not think to dust back there regularly.
5. Paper Clutter
Stacks of newspapers, magazines, or other loose papers can built up whether you mean them to or not. If those stacks of paper are too close to outlets or sources of heat like a vent or a space heater, they could literally go up in flames. If you must keep them, keep them in a cool dry place away from heat sources.
6. Kitchen clutter
Experts recommend that you keep combustible items and materials (think cookbooks and kitchen towels) at least three feet away from the stovetop burners.
The kitchen is one of the most common places for home fires to start, so keep counters clear as much as possible, and always stay in the kitchen while you’re cooking or burners are on.
And don’t forget to check your smoke alarms!