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Beware of Hidden Fire Hazards

Beware of Hidden Fire Hazards in the Home


October is Fire Safety Month, and most people are aware of how to eliminate common fire hazards. Here are some which may not be top of mind.

Wiring: Even hanging a picture on the wall can pierce electrical wiring hidden within the wall. Replace circuit breakers with arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs), available at hardware stores. They detect dangerous electrical arcs and stop them before they start a fire.

Loose Electrical Outlets: They can be a shock and fire hazard. Replace outlets as soon as you notice plugs don’t fit securely, as the loose blades can generate excessive heat and start a fire.

Clothes Dryers: Even if you faithfully clean the lint trap, lint can build up within the dryer cabinet. Have the cabinet and vent professionally inspected and cleaned every year. Plastic dryer vent hoses should be replaced the flexible aluminum, or better still rigid aluminum.

Glassware: When sunlight passes through some kinds of glassware, the concentrated rays can ignite nearby flammable materials such as stacks  of paper. Move all glass accessories, such as vases, away from windows; especially important if you have a concave makeup mirror sitting on a window sill. It has been shown to be the cause of recent fires in England, Texas, and Toronto.

Dust Build-Up: It can act as kindling and ignite fires when it clogs electrical outlets, heater intake valves, or builds up around electronic equipment causing it to overheat. Regular  inspection and vacuuming are preventative measures.