You always think that it is something that can never happen to you until it does, and you find out that you haven’t taken preventative measures.
House fires are more common than homeowners think and it is usually the small things that start these fires. Lightbulbs, laptops, and lint traps might seem harmless at first, but one must be aware of the dangers.
Here are five habits that could result in serious house fires:
#1 – Using too many extension cords
This truly is Basic Electricity 101 but many people seem to forget it.
An extension cord should never be a permanent solution. It is only a temporary fix if you don’t have enough sockets.
If you connect many extension cords at the same time, it can cause an overload that can lead to a short circuit, and this is known to cause house fires.
If you have to use additional outlets, rather let an experienced electrician install it for you, so that you eliminate the need for an extension cord altogether.
#2 – Storing batteries improperly
This one might seem a bit odd, but we all have that drawer in our house where we just throw random things in, like paper clips, erasers, pencils, and batteries.
But did you know that it’s not a good idea to store batteries with other metals such as paper clips? When loose batteries roll around with other metals, the two terminals could short out and generate enough heat to ignite nearby flammables. The result? Your valuables go up in flames due to a totally avoidable mistake.
To avoid this, you can stick a piece of tape over the terminals to protect them, or you could keep it in the original packaging until you are ready to use it.
#3 – Misusing electric blankets
Winters are getting colder and colder, which is why we reach for our electric blankets more often than we used to.
However, did you know that not using an electric blanket correctly is a leading cause of house fires?
One of the most important safety rules regarding an electric blanket is to keep pets away from it. Don’t let them snuggle up next to you.
Also, be sure not to add extra layers for warmth. This could cause it to overheat.
And, when you put it back in storage, make sure that the coils don’t bend.
#4 – Letting your laptop overheat
Your laptop can get very hot, especially if you have left it on overnight or if you have been working on it for a while.
Always put your laptop on a hard surface and avoid putting it on soft furniture.
If you leave it on a couch or on your bed or any other flammable surface, it restricts the airflow running through the vents, causing it to overheat.
Something so simple often leads to huge house fires. Consider investing in a laptop cooling station to prevent it from overheating.
#5 – Piling up old dirty rags
You just finished your of kitchen renovations, and all you want to do is open a well-deserved cold one.
So what do you do? You leave everything as it is, throw the rags on a heap, and tell yourself you’ll clean it up later. Careful – this could start a potential fire.
If left unattended, the rags could oxidize and spontaneously combust, a common cause of house fires. So, next time before you get all relaxed, dispose of them in a metal can that has been filled with water and cover it, or lay it outside to dry.
Small things we do every day can be more dangerous than we think! Be careful not to be too reckless.