Posted By: Chrissy Doremus, U.S. Inspect Blog
We all know that fire is dangerous and destructive and that the most hazardous aspect of this element is that it can occur within the blink of an eye and threaten both human lives and livelihoods in an instant. What we may not know is that some objects that we use regularly in our homes can be fire hazards. We don’t consider such objects as prone to fire, and so we tend to be more careless when we use them thus increasing the risk of fire destruction and damage. If you want to avoid becoming a victim of fire, you need to be aware of the dangers that the following common household items pose:
- Clothes dryer. You wouldn’t consider this gadget to be a fire hazard, but it’s one of the most common causes of household fires. When an accumulation of lint builds up inside the lint filter and the drying unit gets too hot, it could flame up and destroy everything in the vicinity. To prevent this from happening, clean the lint filter after every drying cycle. If your clothes are still damp when you remove them from the dryer or if the appliance seems to run slower than usual, it’s time to clean out the lint filter.
- Hairdryers and curling irons. The hairdryer fire works on the same principle as the clothes dryer – there’s a tiny screen behind the blower which tends to fill up with lint and so pose a fire hazard. As with the dryer, you must clean it regularly to prevent your hair catching fire and inflicting serious injury and even death. Curling irons are high voltage appliances that could cause fires if they’re not used carefully.
- Built-in Ovens. There are reports of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalling certain models of these ovens because they caused nearby wooden cabinets to catch fire when used in the self-cleaning mode. So get your oven checked and certified as completely safe before using it.
- Light bulbs. There are many ways in which the common light bulb could become a fire hazard. For one, if you plug in a bulb of higher wattage into a holder that is designed for a smaller capacity, you’re asking for trouble. And for another, if you place clothes and other flammable objects close to a naked light bulb in hot corners, they could easily catch fire. Also be careful when putting shades on lamps – if the unit is not steady because the lampshade is too big for the stalk, you risk a fire if you knock the lamp down by mistake.
- Electric blanket. While most of these appliances are safe to use, they tend to heat up abnormally when set to a high temperature to beat the cold and tucked in as well. They can catch fire if they get too hot.
There’s no doubt that fire is of great use to mankind, but it can quickly turn against us. If we do not respect its power, it can take control and destroy the things that we love. So be proactive and use the above tips to help protect your family and your home.