On average, more than 300,000 house fires occur each year in the U.S. — and most of them are preventable. Make sure to check your smoke alarms and familiarize yourself with the fire hazards around your home — especially these surprising ones:
- Dust bunnies: If dust collects near electrical sockets and floor heaters, just one spark can cause a fire. Sweep or vacuum your floors regularly to prevent buildup. Pay close attention to hard-to-reach areas, such as behind doors or around entertainment systems.
- Clothes dryers: Cleaning the lint trap should be part of your regular laundry routine. Left untouched, lint can build up in your dryer duct with every load of laundry. Have a professional inspect and clean your dryer at least once a year to help eliminate a fire hazard.
- Glassware: When sunlight passes through some kinds of glassware, the concentrated ray can ignite flammable materials such as stacks of papers. Play it safe by moving all glass accessories, including vases, away from windows.
- Loose batteries: Nine-volt batteries, which power smoke detectors, are designed with both posts on the top. Bits of metal, including other batteries and loose change, can create a bridge between the posts that causes a heat-creating charge. To prevent this, keep unused batteries in their original packaging and cover the posts of expired batteries with black electrical tape before properly disposing of them.
The information in this article was obtained from various sources. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information.