Eight Fire Risks That Carrollton, TX, Property Owners Should Pay Attention To
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Carrollton warns local homeowners about possible sources of fire damage that they should watch out for.
The professionals at SERVPRO of Carrollton are prepared to handle Carrollton, TX, fire damage disasters using the latest equipment, cleaning techniques, and effective cleaning and deodorizing solutions that are safe for humans and pets.
A house fire occurs every 87 seconds in America. Annually, 358,500 households experience the stress, disruption, and inconvenience of a fire. Carrollton homeowners can improve home fire safety by recognizing potential sources of fire damage in the home.
Most homeowners are familiar with common sources of fire damage such as overloaded electrical circuits, overturned candles, and malfunctioning appliances. Other items in the home not usually associated with fire hazards pose potential fire risks. The danger lies in overlooking these potential fire hazards. Here is an explanation of these frequently overlooked fire hazards.
The microwave, invented in 1955, is a staple in most kitchens. The potential for fire with this appliance is significant, yet most homeowners are not aware of the microwave’s many fire risks. Metals and microwaves do not mix. Metal on takeout containers, in dinnerware, and in recycled paper products can cause arcing, sparks, and fire. When overcooked, popcorn can easily catch fire.
Keep the microwave clean. Only cook items that are designed to be heated in the appliance. Microwaves are high voltage, and they pose a serious fire risk when they malfunction. The best course of action when dealing with a malfunctioning microwave is to replace it. Never attempt to repair a microwave since a new unit can be purchased at a very reasonable price.
In case of a fire in the microwave, immediately shut off the power. Open the door only when the fire is out.
Most homeowners would not think a battery could cause massive fire damage or even burn down a home. Yet, all batteries pose a fire risk. Nine-volt batteries are the most dangerous. The close proximity of the terminals increases the risk of a short. The use of a plastic battery storage case is advised. Avoid leaving batteries lying around loose, and store batteries standing up. Place electrical tape over the terminals of each battery. All types of batteries should receive this treatment to prevent shorts and potential fires. Batteries and metal containers are a hazardous combination. Keep steel wool, aluminum foil, and keys away from batteries. Nine-volt batteries are risky enough to warrant being stored separately from other batteries.
Hazard: Light bulbs
Using a light bulb with a wattage that is too high for a given outlet – a mistake known as overlamping – can cause a home fire. Limit light bulb wattage to sixty watts. While LED bulbs are generally a cool, highly efficient solution, higher wattage LED bulbs can generate higher heat. Homeowners should be careful when handling these bulbs.
Hazard: Dryer lint
A buildup of dryer lint in the dryer vent or ductwork can ignite and become a fast-moving fire. Remove the lint from the lint screen after every load. Vent the dryer with aluminum tubing to comply with current fire codes. The lint trap captures only 25% of the lint. Clean the vent, exhaust ductwork, and area around the dryer regularly.
Laptops generate heat during normal operation. Make sure the cooling vents are unobstructed. Placing the laptop on the bed, couch, or chair can prevent the cooling mechanism from functioning adequately, damaging the device or causing a fire. The safest resting place for a laptop is a desk or stand.
Hazard: Stacks of newspaper and magazines
Print materials such as newspapers, magazines, and books can ignite very quickly and should never be stored close to a heat source. Store old newspapers or magazines in a cool, dry place in short stacks. If the items have little or no sentimental value, discard them immediately.
Hazard: Heating blankets and pads
Heating blankets and heating pads are excellent devices for easing pain or relieving the chill of a cold winter night. However, these devices can cause fires if they malfunction due to age, damage, or misuse.
Here are some safety tips for using a heating blanket or heating pad:
- Carefully follow all manufacturer’s operating instructions.
- When using a heating blanket in bed, do not leave the cord between the mattress and box spring where it may be pinched or folded.
- Keep the blanket or pad flat when in use.
- Operate these items on the lowest setting. Do not exceed the recommended operation time.
- Wash the items carefully. Do not dry heating devices in the clothes dryer, and do not iron or dry clean them. These activities can melt heating wire insulation and increase the potential for fire.
Hazard: Barbeque charcoal
Practice caution when storing charcoal. The ordinary backyard grill master may not be aware that damp charcoal can ignite and start a raging fire. Store charcoal in a cool, dry place; a metal pail or garbage can with a tight lid is recommended.
An awareness of these potential fire hazards can lead to efforts to make the home safe from potential fire risks. Homeowners need not live in fear. By taking actions to make the home safe and by pre-qualifying a fire damage restoration company, the homeowner can have peace of mind. If a property damage disaster should occur, a competent, reputable company will respond 24/7, 365 days a year with highly trained technicians, advanced equipment, and EPA-approved cleaning, deodorizing, and sanitizing solutions.