Overlooked Fire Hazards in The HomeBy Child Safety Specialist jan 19, 2012 | 9:30:00 amPosted in: Family, Fire Prevention
After a horrific Christmas fire in a nearby community, fire safety is been on my mind a great deal. This particular fire was started when someone put still-burning embers in a bag outside on the porch. It was a tragic mistake and many people I spoke with said they knew better than to do something like that. But, it got me to thinking about all of the overlooked fire hazards around a home.
I remember while growing up, a friend’s home burnt to the ground when his father was using a metal scraper to scrape paint off of their cement basement floor. He had some rags that had turpentine on them nearby and, when a spark happened to come off as he was scraping, it ignited one of the rags. The home was engulfed in flames within minutes. It was a freak accident but one that could easily happen.
So here are a few more fire hazards that could easily be overlooked:
Overloaded extension cords – This is a common one in many people’s homes (including mine.) Extension cords with multiple outlets shouldn’t be used as a permanent fixture. If you do have an outlet strip, make sure it has a built-in circuit breaker so it will shut down if overloaded. Check electrical cords regularly to be sure there not damaged or broken in any way and, if it feels hot to the touch, stop using it immediately.
Halogen lamps – In case you’re not familiar with halogen lamps, they are usually tall, thin and modern looking. The danger with these lamps are the temperature that the halogen light bulb can reach, which is up to 970 degrees for a 300 watt halogen bulb. Because of their design it’s very easy for these lamps to tip over and, if they come in contact with a curtain, carpet or bedding, they can ignite instantly. If you have small children or pets in the house get rid of them. Some college dorms have banned them for this reason as well.
Dryer vents – While I knew to clean out my lint trap I didn’t realize the danger of the dryer hose attached in the back. This can clog up with lint and moisture and, as the hot air is coming out of the dryer, cause a fire. If you notice that your clothes are suddenly taking longer than normal to dry, clean out your vent pipe or hire a service to do it. Also, be sure that outdoor vent flap is not blocked in any way.
Of course, always be sure to have smoke detectors on every floor of your house and be sure they are interconnected so they all go off in the event of a fire.
Six Preventable Fire Hazards In Our Home
Be Alert and Help Prevent Home Fires
It’s Time to Protect Your Home from Fire
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