Household Fire Hazards

Household Fire Hazards

For most of us our home is a safe haven, a place where we feel comfortable and protected, but did you know that there are potential fire hazards lurking in our houses that you may not be aware of?  Statistics show that most residential fires could have been prevented.  BDB Home Inspections has put together a safety list to help avoid a dangerous situation.

Cooking Safety

This is the number 1 cause of household fires and can simply be prevented by following these easy rules of thumb

  • Never walk away from items on your stove top
  • Keep oven mitts, tea towels and wooden utensils away from the heat source to prevent them from igniting
  • Metal and microwaves do NOT go together
  • Should a grease fire start, be sure you don’t use water to extinguish it. Water will only increase the flames and cause a bigger problem.  It is a good idea to have a small fire extinguisher in your kitchen that you can easily access

Wiring

There are numerous scenarios to help avoid electrical issues that can be a fire hazard.

  • Be sure not to overload outlets or extension cords
  • Periodically check for frayed or damaged wiring and replace if needed
  • When hanging pictures or shelves on your wall be sure to use a voltage detector to help locate wiring hidden behind your walls so you don’t accidentally pierce the wires with nails or screws. Another safeguard you can put in place to prevent this is to replace your circuit breakers with arc-fault circuit interrupters that detects abnormal sparks, bad insulation or loose connections and shuts off the circuit

Dryer Lint

This has become more of an issue in recent times.  Built-up dryer lint can easily catch on fire with the heat being produced by your unit.  It is very important to clean your lint trap after every use and if you are comfortable, remove the backing of your dryer and inspect the insides to see if there is any excessive lint.  It is recommended that every 2 years you hire a professional to come in and clean all the areas that you may not have access to.

Candles & Lighters

Most of us have been known to light our favourite scented candle to make our house smell nice, but you need to make sure that any open flames are NEVER left unattended and are clear of any flammable items.  After lighting your candles, make sure you keep your lighters or matches in a safe place and away from curious children.

Smoking

To avoid this becoming a hazard it is recommended that smoking is done outside of your home.  Should you decide not to brave the elements to smoke outdoors keep these points in mind.

  • Do not smoke in bed
  • Be cautious when smoking while under the influence of alcohol and or drugs
  • Ensure that cigarettes are put out fully before leaving the room
  • Only empty ashtrays into metal containers with sand or water in it and never in garbage cans where smouldering cigarettes would catch other materials on fire

Being aware of the potential hazards that are in your home and having the knowledge to prevent a disaster from occurring is the key to keeping your home safe.

Bryson Bumstead is a certified Master Inspector and a Licensed Plumber with over 30 years of experience in the construction field. BDB Home Inspections provides professional assessments in the Southern Georgian Bay area.