Kids are precious little creations and you do everything in your power to protect them.
- You feed them – you check the ingredients
- You buy them toys – you check the choking hazards
- You live in a house – you ‘baby proof’ it
But did you know that house fires pose the most risk to you and your family with over 11,000 residential fires being reported every year in Australia?
There are some obvious fire risks in your home such as leaving food unattended on your cooktop, leaving candles burning or smoking inside, but some fire hazards are a little more hidden.
Here are 7 not-so- obvious fire dangers in most homes
- Dryers: lint making monsters. If you don’t clean your lint filter EVERY TIME you use your dryer; you run the risk of this built-up lint blocking your air filters. Blocked filters raise the temperature in the drum and increase the danger of a fire starting.
- Dust bunnies aren’t cute. Honestly, we ALL have dust bunnies living behind our furniture (seriously, no one vacuums behind their TV cabinet every week right?). But dust bunnies multiply and this build-up can cause issues around heaters, electronics, sockets and power boards. Electrical fires love dust bunnies – they act as kindling.
- Dishwashers. Yes, dishwashers may be full of water, but dishwasher fires do happen. When a dishwasher malfunctions and water encounters appliance wires, your dishwasher is at risk of catching fire. The heating element or the motor are also at risk of catching fire at any stage. Quick tip: never put on your dishwasher and go out, or go to bed.
- Electrical power plugs. These are the little plastic plugs you put in a power point to stop your child from sticking anything in there. Although the cap itself is safe, if your home’s wiring or the wiring of that power point is faulty, you run the risk of the plastic heating up and catching fire. You may wish to install shutter power points that are only active once an appliance is plugged in. Here’s a fire warning about childproof power point plugs from a fellow mum.
- Jars and glass objects. When the sun hits the glass, this direct sunlight in combination with other factors, can ignite a spark. For example, sun shining directly through windows onto bottles of cooking oil, cleaning products, nail polish, etc. Or through glass ornaments surrounded by dust. Or through plastic water bottles sitting on rubbish (commonly seen in teenager’s rooms).
- Gaming systems and laptops. These items run the biggest risk of overheating and catching fire, especially when they’re near other electronics or in closed entertainment units. Give them air and space. And make sure you check ALL power cords to make sure they’re not broken. Quick tip: NEVER overload a power board (and only use one with a built-in fuse).
- Rats and mice. Rodents can be a huge fire risk in your home due to being experts at chewing through electrical wiring. This exposed wiring then sits on insulation or against wooden housing beams, running the risk of catching fire.
Ready to fix the fire risks in your home?
Have a look around your home and use this checklist as you go.
- Power points are not overloaded
- Electrical cords are intact (not frayed)
- Your gaming system has air space around it
- You don’t have glass objects close to windows
- Clean your dryer’s lint filter
- Check your roof space for signs of pesky critters
- You’re not using plastic child-proof caps in power points
- Vacuum behind TV units and under beds
- Remove all cleaning products from benches in direct sunlight
ABOUT THE EXPERT
Bulbeck fire are the leaders in fire prevention and protection. For over 60 years, they have ruled the market in firefighting equipment supply, with everything you need for fire safety. They are the experts you can trust to help you eliminate fire hazards around your home.