No one wants their house to catch fire, but unfortunately accidents happen. A fire needs three things to thrive; oxygen, heat, and fuel and these three elements come stock in the average household.
Oxygen can be found anywhere in your home, and heat can be generated from many different things; electrical appliances, wiring, smoking etc. To fuel a house fire any burnable household item will suffice. So considering this information one can conclude that their household carries the recipe for a potential fire.
Everyone knows some common causes of house fires; let’s re-cap people,(make Smokey proud); cooking appliances, carless smoking, bad wiring, children playing with fire, Christmas decorations, candles, and flammable liquids. Besides those jeopardies there are still many more random causes for a fire in your home. Below is a list of five unlikely ways your house could potentially catch fire, along with ways to avoid a possible fiery dilemma.
1. In Home Heat Lamps for Pets
Heat lamps left above pet cages can be knocked over to create a fire. Lizards will sometimes climb up cords trying to escape and knock over lamps to create a cage fire, and ensure the lizards demise. Hazards including water dishes and flammable bedding must also be closely watched, make sure to keep water dishes out of electrical paths in case something falls. Run cords in locations where animals cannot reach them. As a last precaution makes sure electrical circuits are not overloaded. Heat lamps use more amperage than regular lights.
No one wants to imagine their computer sitting on the charger on a hot day, then just combusting in flames. Strangely enough laptops have been reported to catch fire; in fact in 2010 Hewlett Packard had to recall over 150,000 batteries for “overheating and rupturing”. Incidents of home damage, smoke inhalation injury and burns were reported. The users had to rely on AC power to ensure their batteries didn’t over heat and cause a fire. Make sure not to leave your computer plugged in and sitting on a combustible surface, such as a couch, carpet, bed, or desk cluttered with paper. It is also suggested that you unplug your laptop and read up on laptop safety tips.
3. Clothes Dryers
Dryers cause fires all too often in residential homes. There are two types of dryers; vented and condensed. They both are equally hazardous, but vented dryers are feasibly risky if the vent is not properly installed. Other causes of dryer fires include dirty lint traps and venting systems along with using the wrong venting material. Try not to put clothing through the dryer again after they are dry and don’t overload your dryer. Leaving the dryer running unattended is also hazardous; it’s much easier to control a fire when you’re around to subdue it.
4. Heating pads
According to the CPSC (consumer product safety commission) over 1600 people check into the emergency room each year to treat heating pad burns. Around 8 deaths are reported a year, usually in homes where the product user is over 65. Heating pad fires are caused by worn products, when the plastic covering the heating coils wear the pad will ignite. Frayed or worn electrical cords are also potential for hazards. To avoid a heating pad fire all you need to do is inspect the pad before use.
Believe it or not pests such as mice and rats can be a potential fire hazard. If a rodent chews through a wire the wire could emit sparks and ignite. Especially if the sparks fall on a carpet or flammable surface that could catch fire. Also if a pest expires in a high heat area such as under a base board heater, or behind an electrical appliance, the hot area could cause the expired body to catch, not to mention emit a terrible smell. It’s suggested that one sets up mouse traps in ceilings and walls especially in areas with excessive wiring.
Written by Katlin Parenteau, an expert researcher and writer for KompareIt.com