Personal Habits That Can Start a Fire
House fires are a more frequent occurrence than you might think. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are more than 35,000 house fires each year in the United States. Some of the most common causes include falling asleep while smoking, candles igniting window coverings, a sparking electrical socket, and so on. But these aren’t the only causes. In fact, a few of those you’ll find below might just surprise you.
Appliance Recalls. Home appliances are responsible for roughly 150,000 fires each year. Keep abreast of recall notices by registering newly purchased appliances with the manufacturer and go to www.recalls.gov to see if any recalls already exist.
Overheating Laptop. Laptops generate a considerable amount of heat. That’s why it’s not recommended you use one on any flammable surface like your bed, a pillow, sofa, and so on.
Greasy Range Hood. In addition to stoves and cooktops, range hoods pose a significant fire hazard. If grease builds up on the vent hood filter, it can drip down onto a cooktop and ignite a grease fire. Clean the range hood regularly to reduce the risk.
Toaster Crumbs. Every time you toast bread or a bagel, crumbs accumulate at the bottom of the toaster. If not cleaned out routinely, these crumbs can heat up and spark a fire. Unplug the toaster, let it cool, remove the tray and wash it with warm soapy water to prevent build-up. Replace the tray once completely dry.
Wrong Wattage. Installing a light bulb with wattage that is greater than the fixture was made for is a leading cause of home fires. Before replacing a bulb, be sure to check the maximum recommended wattage.
Space Heaters. A space heater can provide added warmth to a room, but if used incorrectly, it can start a fire. Never place a space heater near or on combustible items, don’t use an extension cord with your space heater, choose a model that automatically shuts off if knocked over, and turn it off when not in the room and before going to sleep.
Furniture Placement. Placing combustible items and furnishings near a wood stove, fireplace, or any heat source for an extended amount of time can cause the item to dry out and ignite, even without a direct flame.
Chimney Sweep. Letting creosote, raccoon nests, dead birds, and other debris build-up in your chimney can be a disastrous mistake. Have your fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned once a year by a professional chimney sweep.
The DIY Approach. Performing electrical, plumbing, and HVAC work without the proper training and know-how can put your family at risk. Sure, you can easily replace your furnace filter or fix a leaky faucet, but more serious problems should be tackled by a pro.
When it comes to heating and air conditioning systems, the pro more and more people turn to is Correct Temp. Take annual preventive maintenance, for example. It’s something we highly recommend as it will keep your equipment running better, longer, and with decreased energy costs.
But there are also safety reasons to have your furnace and AC system inspected annually. All such systems have electrical components which, if not inspected frequently enough, can cause an electrical fire. Has it been a year or longer since your most recent heating or cooling system checkup? Then please, for your own sake, contact Correct Temp today.