Think your home is a fire-free zone? Well, think again. You may not realize it, but there are several seemingly harmless household items that can dramatically increase your risk for a house fire when they’re handled improperly. What are they, and what can you do to protect yourself and your property? The experts at Kiser Construction have the details below.
How often do you clean out your dryer lint trap? You should be doing it after every load of laundry, and if you aren’t, you’re increasing your risk for a house fire. Because dryer lint is extremely dry and composed of tens of thousands of tiny particles, it’s extremely flammable. And, because the lint trap sits in close proximity to the dryer’s heat source, the potential for a fire increases dramatically.
In fact, each year, United States homeowners suffer nearly $35 million in combined property losses due to dryer fires — yikes. If you hope to avoid a devastating disaster and expensive fire damage restoration, clean your lint trap after every load of clothes you dry.
You wouldn’t assume a few regular batteries could put you at risk for a house fire, would you? But unfortunately, that assumption could end in disaster and result in extensive fire damage restoration to your home. So what is it about batteries that poses such a fire risk?
Because household batteries have positive and negative terminals, they can heat up quickly when they come into contact with other metal objects. Nine-volt batteries can be particularly hazardous as they feature positive and negative poles on the same side. If those poles make continuous contact with something as simple as a paperclip, the battery can overheat and generate a spark, which can quickly transform into a fire.
To reduce your risk of experiencing a damaging accident, be sure to store your batteries carefully. Rather than simply tossing them in an empty drawer, set them upright so the terminals cannot make contact with other objects. You may even want to consider covering either the positive or negative terminals with tape to eliminate the chance of the battery overheating.
Extension Cords and Power Strips
If you’re like most people, you plug your electronic devices into the closest open outlet — but be careful which outlet you choose! If the closest receptacle is attached to an extension cord or power strip, make sure the device is designed to handle the voltage your electronic items require.
If the voltages are mismatched, power strips and extension cords can heat up quickly, which can damage the wiring within. When you continually draw current through a mismatched extension cord or power strip, eventually, the interior wiring will begin to melt, and ultimately, melted wiring will start a fire.
This one is pretty obvious, but if you’re going to use a space heater inside your home, be very careful where you place it. More importantly, never leave a space heater running when you’re not at home! For safety’s sake (and to avoid expensive fire damage restoration repairs), heed these tips when operating space heaters indoors:
● Never place a space heater near loose upholstery, such as curtains or bedding
● Always situate space heaters on non-flammable, hard, level surfaces
● Keep space heaters at least three feet away from all flammable materials
● Unplug space heaters when they’re not in use
● Never leave a space heater running unattended
Kiser Construction: Your Twin Cities Source for Emergency Restoration Services
At Kiser Construction, it’s our goal to help Twin Cities homeowners successfully recover after disaster strikes. If you’ve suffered a house fire and require professional assistance restoring your home, don’t hesitate to get in contact with our team. We specialize in comprehensive fire, water, and storm damage restoration, and we work will all insurance companies to ensure you get the coverage you deserve. To learn more or schedule an appointment, give our team a call today at 763-633-2010 or send us a message on our contact page, and we’ll be in touch promptly.
If you recently suffered home damage and require emergency restoration services, we encourage you to contact us on our 24/7 emergency line at 612-518-8852.