Hidden Fire Hazards in Your Home

Flames shoot out of an upper story and engulf the roof of a house on fire.

With the wild fires we recently had in North Georgia and Tennessee, it made me think of an old friend from California who was a firefighter, and she advised me to NEVER use a plug-in air freshener. Apparently they are the culprit of many house fires! The hazard with plug-ins are that once the oil/fragrance has evaporated, combined with thin plastic, they can catch fire easily. Although it’s damp and cold outside lately, these hidden fire hazards can sneak up and wreak havoc on your home any time of the year:

Dust
We all try to keep dust out of our homes for the obvious: aesthetics, allergies or air quality. But too much dust in certain areas of your home can be a fire hazard. The areas behind your TV or computer desk are especially vulnerable as the heat from electrical outlets, electronics, and appliances can cause dust to catch on fire…just one spark can cause a fire. When you sweep or vacuum your floors , be sure to add hard-to-reach areas, such as behind desks or around entertainment systems.

Loose Outlets
Have you ever been vacuuming and you’re annoyed because the plug comes out of the wall? There’s a good chance it’s time to check your outlets. Loose outlets can be extremely dangerous… the loose blades of the plugs can generate heat that could spark fires.

Loose batteries
Nine-volt batteries, used in smoke detectors, are designed with both posts on the top. When you change out your batteries every 6 months, and I know you all do, cover the posts with black electrical tape before properly disposing them. If left exposed, things like loose change and other pieces of metal (other batteries) can act as a bridge from one post to the other causing a charge that can create heat.

It never hurts to plan a walkthrough of your home to make sure you aren’t inviting danger for a visit. And if you need to schedule some of the regular preventative maintenance guys (chimney inspector, dryer vent cleaning, etc.) please give The Peters Company a call and we’ll send you a list of the best!

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