Fire safety does not stop at the Fire Prevention Triangle. Apart from the heat, oxygen, and fuel, there are other things that can start a fire or make the flames spread. Learn about them in this guide.
Fire is an ever-present hazard in Australia, causing around a hundred fatalities and three thousand injuries per year. Aside from fire’s effects on human life, the estimated cost of fire totals at about 12 million AUD. To prevent fires from claiming lives and properties, cities are continuously upgrading the fire hydrant pump system and the fire department services. However, fire prevention should start at home.
Most homeowners install smoke detectors and leave them as is. In reality, many of us may not be seeing the other fire hazards at home. What are these unnoticeable fire hazards? You might ask. Well, here are some of the most common ones that you need to look out for:
1. Old electrical cords
Electrical cords that are worn down may start a fire if left unrepaired or undisposed of. Cables that are prone to abuse, such as those in vacuum cleaners, power tools, and chargers, should be thrown away or repaired when electrical wires are exposed. If you see the insulation material around the power cord getting worn down, wrap it with electrical tape to extend its life. Better yet, wrap all frequently used power cords with protective tape once they are bought.
2. Space heaters
We agree that space heaters are convenient to have during winter since they are portable, but it’s a well-known fact that they can be a serious fire hazard in the house. When using a space heater, make sure it is at an ample distance away from flammable items such as curtains, carpets, and rugs. Alternatively, you can buy other heaters that have lower combustion risks, such as radiant heaters or fan heaters.
3. Clothes dryers
An accumulation of lint in the dryer lint trap can combust, especially when the machine is overheating. That said, every homeowner should remember to clean out the lint trap every once in a while to remove lint and dryer sheet residue. Additionally, you should have your dryer vents cleaned at least once a year to prevent further overheating.
4. Excess sawdust
If you have woodworking or DIY space anywhere in your home that accumulates sawdust, it’s essential to clean it regularly, ideally after every session. Because sawdust can easily ignite, it’s a huge risk when left lying around in excess. Use a vacuum cleaner to collect sawdust before bagging it for proper disposal. If it’s going to be a long-term hobby, invest in a good saw-dust collecting device.
5. Toaster crumbs
Don’t forget to clean your toaster for crumbs unless you want to start a fire in the kitchen. When a toaster is left to accumulate toast debris at the bottom, it can ignite while in use. If you use your toaster every day, be sure to clean it at least once a week.
6. Dirty stoves
Just like toasters, a dirty stove can also be a fire hazard. If you don’t remove the excess oil, food debris, and other flammable grime from your stovetops, a fire can start and spread very quickly. Be sure to clean the stovetops at least twice a week, especially if a lot of debris has built up.
Making these necessary precautions can save your family and remove potential fire hazards from your home. There are many other fire hazards that we don’t often notice, but you can start fire-proofing your home by taking care of these six items first.