Commonly Missed Fire Hazards In Your Home

Dryer Air Ducts: The National Fire Protection Association reports that approximately 15,000 fires occur each year as a result of dirty or clogged dryer vents. These are the tubes that run from the dryer to the exterior of your home. Vents can build up with lint and debris, which can get clogged and overheated, potentially causing a fire. Ideally, these vents should be professionally cleaned at least every three months, and no longer than once a year. And always remember to clean out the dryer's lint trap after each use.

Wood-Buring Fireplace Flue: The flue is the duct that runs from where the wood burns to the top of the chimney. When you burn wood, the smoke produced by the fire contains unburned wood particles. The smoke cools as it passes through the chimney, leaving condensation on the walls of the flue lining in the form of creosote, which is combustable. As it builds up, it can pose a fire hazard. A professional chimney sweep can ensure that buildups and blockages are remedied.

Overloaded Sockets: Overloaded electrical sockets can pose a severe fire hazard. If too many appliances are plugged into a single outlet, the electrical circuits can become overloaded, causing wires to melt and potentially catch fire.

Space Heaters: According to the NFPA, space heaters account for four out of five deaths related to home heating equipment. Make sure that your space heater meets industry standards; check for a label that it's been tested in a recognized laboratory. Older models don't always meet those standards. Always keep space heaters off of flammable surfaces, upholstery, and textiles, and turn off when leaving the room.  

Smoke Detectors: All home are required to be equipped with working smoke detectors, but many are not functioning properly. Regularly check that your detectors are working properly. And also, your home should be equipped with a carbon monoxide (CO) detector. CO is a poisonous, flammable gas that is colorless and odorless.


Remember, never throw water on a grease fire. Instead, turn off the stovetop and cover the pan to suffocate the fire (if you can do so safely). Do not try and move the pot or pan. A fire extinguisher can also be used if necessary. Do not use a waterbased or class A-only extinguisher.


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