The most common fire hazards in homes often aren’t the most obvious ones. While unmonitored ovens and unruly bonfires are responsible for many home fires, there are other culprits to look out for. Below are just some of the common fire hazards to watch out for.
The biggest fire hazard may not be inside your home. If you live in an area that gets very hot and dry in the summer, wildfires could be a hazard to look out for. There’s not much you can do to prevent a wildfire occurring as it’s largely nature’s responsibility. However, you may be able to protect from fire damage with protective exterior measures such as installing bushfire mesh or installing fiberglass asphalt roofing. Most modern homes will have good protective measures in place – it’s generally older homes that are most at risk of wildfires. You can read this guide on more ways to protect your home from bushfires.
Damaged wiring can be a big fire risk in homes. Old or amateurishly-installed electrics are most prone to damage. Sometimes damaged wiring is visible, but this isn’t always the case – you should look out for other signs of damage such as frequent circuit breaker trips, flickering lights, buzzing sounds, discoloured sockets or odd smells from electrical outlets. An electrician could be worth calling to inspect your electrics if you suspect there could be a problem.
Overloaded electrical sockets
Connecting too many appliances to a single socket can cause the socket to overheat. This is often caused by running multiple extension cables and socket adaptors out of one socket. Always check the current rating of a socket before plugging in appliances and unplug devices from extension leads when not in use. If extension cables or socket adaptors are giving off a weird smell, buzzing or appear scorches, you should unplug them immediately.
How often do you clean out your toaster? Toaster crumbs are a common cause of kitchen fires. While modern toasters are able to shut off when they overheat, this doesn’t always stop a fire from occurring. Every so often, it’s worth taking the time to clean out any crumbs (if you use your toaster daily, you may want to do this every couple days). You may be able to shake out most of the crumbs, however you should also look out for stuck crumbs. Never leave a toaster unattended.
Candles are a big cause of house fires. The most common time of the year for these fires is around Christmas, when there are often lots of decorations to catch fire. You should be careful as to where you place candles – if you’re placing a candle on a windowsill, keep it away from curtains or flammable ornaments. You should be particularly careful as to where you place candles if you have young kids or pets – in these cases there is a greater risk of a candle being knocked over. Always blow out candles before you go to bed.