Thursday, August 15, 2013

Hidden Fire Hazards

Hidden Fire Hazards
There have been a record number of house fires in our area in the past few months; some have involved loss of life. Take the time to evaluate your home. You may consider your home fire-safe, but dangers lurk around your workbench, behind you walls, and right on your kitchen counter.
  1. Wiring: People don’t think of wiring as a danger, because it’s out of sight.” Replace circuit breakers with arc-fault circuit interrupters (found in hardware stores for about $30). These safeguards detect dangerous electrical arcs – abnormal sparks that signal bad insulation or loose connections- and stop them before they start a fire.
  2. Kitchen Clutter: Paper towels, pot holders, recipe cards can easily ignite.   41 percent of home fires start in the kitchen! Keep a 3-foot zone between combustibles and the burners. And never leave cooking unattended.
  3. Dryer: Even if you dutifully empty your lint tray every time you dry clothes, the material still builds up inside the dryer cabinet, which holds its heating element and is usually located at the back or bottom of the machine. If enough lint accumulates there, a blaze can start. Clean the cabinet every two years.   
  4. Loose Outlets: The blades inside electrical outlets loosen over time, something you may notice when you plug in an appliance and the cord falls out easily. Loose blades generate intense heat that can lead to fires. Replace outlets as soon as you notice that plugs don’t fit snugly.

Reduce the Risk- Be sure you have smoke detectors, a home escape route, and pay attention!

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