Six Fire Hazards to be Aware Of During Fire Prevention Month

November 25, 2016

house-on-fireSome fire hazards are common sense, such as leaving something on the stove unattended. However, other fire hazards are not as well known.

Residential fires are very costly for homeowners. In 2015, more than $14 billion in homeowner insurance claims were due to fires, according to the National Fire Prevention Association. Most of these fires could have been easily prevented.

While you may already keep your smoke alarms up-to-date and take care of the common fire hazards, there may be other hazards you’re missing. Here are some of the most common risks to be aware of in observance of National Fire Prevention Month.

Glassware

It’s not some legend or old folklore; glassware can cause a fire. Just as a magnifying glass may use the rays of the sun to create heat and fire, a normal glass fixture has the same potential. In London, 125 fires were started by glassware from 2010 to 2015, according to the London Fire Brigade.

Whether the fixture uses sunlight to cause the fire or it uses another source of light, it’s a hazard to take seriously. Make sure you take caution with fishbowls, mirrors, crystals and glass ornaments by keeping them away from sunny window sills.

Laptops

Another cause of fire you may not be aware of is your laptop computer. It’s pretty easy to realize your computer created heat and if it’s left on the right surface, it runs a small risk of starting a fire. Leaving a hot laptop on a bed, blanket, couch or any soft surface could cause a fire in your home. It’s best to keep your laptop on a desk, countertop or laptop stand, especially when it’s hot.

Dust

Did you know, dust bunnies can cause fires? They don’t just attach your sinuses and make your home look dirty. If the dust gathers near a floor heater, electronics or a society, it could become a fire hazard. A simple little spark could ignite a clump of dust quickly. This fire could spread to nearby furniture and end up costing you.

Paper

newspaper-on-fireStacks of newspapers or other papers may become the kindling causing a fire to destroy your home. If the paper gets too close to any source of heat or electrical socket, it could become the reason you lose your house. Many fires are started due to old newspapers kept in the garage near a gas container for a lawn mower or a propane tank for a grill.

The best way to prevent old newspapers from causing your fire is to digitize. However, if you simply cannot get rid of them, store the papers in plastic bins to keep them from becoming kindling.

Loose Outlets

A loose electrical outlet poses a huge risk in your home. While it may seem like only a little bit of an annoyance, over time, it may become the reason for your fire. The best way to prevent a loose electrical outlet from causing a fire is to simply replace it or fix it.

Electrical Wiring

electricalWhile it’s an obvious fire hazard and one of the biggest causes of home fires in the world, electrical wiring isn’t something homeowners think about often. It’s found behind the walls, so it’s out of sight. However, this deadly fire hazard shouldn’t be left out of your mind.

The NFPA reported that more than $1 billion of property damage is caused by electrical fires every single year. These usually start due to old wires or wiring faults in the home. If you have an older home, it’s best to have it inspected by a professional. It’s also important to make sure your home uses 12 AWG or American Wire Gauge sold wiring due to the demand of modern appliances.

Older homes are usually the ones suffering from electrical fires. It may be caused due to switching out an outlet or something new being added to a system not capable of handling it. Before adding anything electrical to an older home, consult with a professional to ensure your wiring can handle it.

Even newer homes can have electrical issues. Sometimes, these issues are caused by puncturing wires by driving nails or screws through walls. With an arc fault circuit interrupter, you’re circuit breaker will protect your home. This will disrupt any circuit if it detects any type of loose connection or abnormal spark. If you want to protect your home, this is the best way to do it when it comes to the wiring.

Related: Maintenance Musts

Fire is a serious issue and it’s important to make sure your home is protected. Make sure you keep your smoke alarms up-to-date and make sure you pay attention to fire hazards you may not think about often.

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