Ideally, your home is a place where you can rest after a hectic day. However, statistics indicate this sanctuary can harbour some of the most unpleasant life circumstances. Data reveals over 17,000 home fires occur each year, which is something to be worried about. However, these cases could have been prevented if people had taken precautionary measures. Knowing the hidden hazards in your home that could compromise your life can be helpful. Here are a few worth considering.
- Faulty electrical wiring
According to the Electrical Safety Foundation, faulty wires account for more than 8,000 home fires each year. These electrical problems start unnoticed in the early stages, but signs begin to show after a while. You must be observant to pick up on things like scorch marks around switches, heated electrical outlets, and so on. In extreme cases, you will notice exposed wires. A licensed electrician is your safest bet in situations like these. The issue now is how to avoid becoming a statistic.
First, inspect your home’s wiring regularly. You may not be an expert on electrical things, but simple observation can save you thousands of dollars in repairs and replacement if the worst happens. An experienced electrician sometimes advises you to upgrade your home’s electrical system. This will be needed if your home has outdated wiring that increases the fire risk. Moreover, modern safety standards make this process mandatory, so feel free to consider this.
- Neglected chimneys and fireplaces
Did you know several chimney fires happen yearly, causing millions of Australian dollars in damages? A Gitnux report revealed that in most such fires, the culprit is creosote buildup. Creosote is a heavy oil in the coal tar family derived from burning wood and coal. Research has shown that it is a carcinogen in its raw form when exposed for a long time to humans. This highly flammable substance is not something you want to take up space in your home’s chimney. Unfortunately, this happens when you fail to schedule regular chimney cleaning at home. It is better to get in touch with local chimney sweeps services to remove creosote buildup and any other debris filling your chimney. Regular cleaning aims to improve adequate ventilation, reducing the risks of accidental chimney fires. As a precautionary measure, use dry and seasoned firewood if you prefer the traditional function of your home’s fireplace. Green or wet wood is not advised because of its likelihood of producing dangerous gases and tar-like substances in your chimney, so feel free to consider this.
- Dust and lint buildup
Dust and lint buildup may mean nothing to you and even appear harmless. However, it is for good reason they are considered hidden fire hazards at home or anywhere else. The usual places to find a collection of dust and lint are near home appliances. These can be found behind or underneath stoves, dryers, and refrigerators. Due to the likelihood of such buildup in these areas, paying extra attention to these items is recommended. Routinely clean behind and underneath them, paying particular attention to the vents.
Regarding your dryers, remember to thoroughly clean the lint filter after each load. This is because lint buildup can likely become the source of a home fire. You will reduce the risks by routinely cleaning and inspecting the dryer vent and exhaust duct.
- Using outdated appliances or equipment
Why are outdated appliances and equipment considered hidden hazards? Several factors account for this, and a few will be discussed here. Over time, outdated equipment begins to malfunction due to deteriorated internal components. They either corrode, have breaks and tears, or any other sign of damage. This leads to short circuits and overheating, increasing the risk of fires. Additionally, there is the problem of obsolete safety features contradicting modern standards.
For example, many modern appliances can trigger an automatic electrical shut-off. Unfortunately, this isn’t something you’ll often find in outdated appliances. This has more to do with the lack of advanced technology at the time. Fortunately, you can replace your old appliances or equipment with newer ones. An upgrade brings enhanced safety and reduces the risk of a home fire caused by an obsolete appliance.
As stated earlier, your home should be a safe sanctuary, away from noise and stress. However, there’s something wrong if you don’t feel safe. If you are concerned about these hidden fire hazards in your home, consult a professional to inspect and evaluate the risks. This way, you can rest assured that your household is safe.