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The Top Ten Fire Hazards Lurking in Your Home

You might think your home is fireproof and that you take all available fire safety precautions, but fire hazards exist in places you probably haven't thought about.

From attics to basements, inside to outside, there are a lot of places fire dangers can hide around your home.

Don't worry though, we've got you covered with this full guide to the fire hazards lurking in your home!

1. Candles 

Around 22 fires started by candles are reported each day. Candles add ambiance, fragrance and a general cozy vibe to spaces, so it's no wonder so many people enjoy candles in their home.

If you do have candles in your home, follow these common-sense practices to stay safe.
  • Don't burn them near curtains, bedding, or other flammable materials.
  • Blow candles out when leaving the room, even if it's only for a moment.
  • Burn candles in appropriate containers that will contain the flame if forgotten.

2. The Kitchen

Your kitchen holds some pretty large fire dangers in the way of your stove, oven, and microwave. Keep these fire hazards in mind as your cook.

  • Never walk away from cooking food, even for a moment.
  • Don't wear loose or flowy clothing while cooking.
  • Keep flammable items, like wood utensils, towels and oven mitts away from the cooktop.
  • Use only microwave-safe dishes and avoid putting metal or foil in the microwave.
  • Know how different fires start and react so that you can respond to specialty fires like those that contain cooking oil appropriately.

3. Electrical Cords

Electrical cords and appliances can cause electrical fires if they aren't maintained and treated appropriately.

  • Check the cords around your home frequently for signs of wear or fraying and replace or repair those that need it.
  • Avoid using extension cords and power bars wherever possible.
  • Unplug appliances and fixtures when they aren't in use.

4. The Laundry Room

Your laundry room may seem like an odd place for a fire to start, but there are a few fire hazards lurking among your dirty clothes to be aware of.

  • Clean the lint trap in your dryer frequently.
  • Check under the dryer once a month to make sure stray socks aren't near the heating element.
  • Store cleaning chemicals and detergents properly.

5. The Heating System

Whether your home is heated by propane, natural gas, coal, wood, or electricity, there are inherent fire hazards with any fuel source.

  • Have your heater and heating components professionally maintained, inspected, and cleaned regularly.
  • Replace filters at least one to two times a year.
  • Clean wood, pellet or coal-burning stoves once a month.
  • Have chimneys inspected and cleaned several times a year.
  • Keep flammable materials like curtains away from heating elements.

6. The Garage

You might not consider the fire hazards lurking in your garage. Whether it's attached or detached, people tend to forget that this space is indeed part of their home and host to a variety of fire dangers.

  • Keep cleaning agents, chemicals, and fuels properly stored away from heat and ignition sources and out of sunlight and direct heat.
  • Leave electrical tools unplugged and stored safely away.
  • Store combustible materials like cleaning rags and building materials away from heat and ignition sources.
  • Properly maintain yard care equipment and tools by checking cords and cleaning debris from them after use.

7. Wiring

Whether you've purchased a newly built home or an older model, problems with wiring can occur.

  • Check outlets and lightboxes frequently to make sure they are secure and not loose.
  • Call an electrician immediately if you notice flickering lights or sparking outlets.
  • Only allow licensed electricians to perform work on your home's electrical system.

8. The Yard

Backyard fires can be started from unexpected random combustion or intentional set burns. But a yard fire can quickly progress to a home with the right conditions. Keep your home safe by making sure your yard is fireproof.

  • Practice safe burning rules when burning waste in your backyard.
  • Make sure intentional fires in fire pits or to burn yard waste are completely smothered and extinguished before walking away.
  • Build fire pits according to codes to keep the flames contained appropriately.
  • Never leave yard waste or debris piled or stacked in the yard.
  • Store firewood and other combustible materials away from the sides of your home.

9. Basements and Attics

Located at the extreme ends of our homes, basements and attics are often prime storage locations that are not thought about until we have to climb into them to retrieve something.

  • Be careful which items are stored next to each other.
  • Keep flammable materials like paints, chemicals, and cleaning agents properly stowed away in cool areas.
  • Make sure combustibles aren't covering heating vents.
  • Pay attention to ventilation and make sure there is proper airflow to avoid build-up of toxic fumes.

10. The Water Heater

Most water heaters use natural gas to ignite a burner and heat water stored in the tank. Make sure the area around the base of the water heater is clear of debris. Have your water heater regularly checked and maintained to avoid malfunctions.

Fire Hazards in Your Home

Now that you know where the fire hazards lurk in your home, it's time to make sure you're properly prepared in the event of a fire. Even our best preparations can't always negate the risk.

Make sure you're prepared in the event of a fire with the AFG Fireball. Whether you're home or not, the Fireball will keep your home fire safe!

Check out the AFG FIreball today!