You think it will never happen to you until it does: house fires are more common than homeowners think they are and it actually is the small things that can start potential fires, like light bulbs, laptops, and lint traps that are hiding in plain sight.
They might seem harmless and part of the everyday necessities, but don’t fall for that!
There are many things that you might be doing wrong, without even knowing, that could be hazardous to the safety of your home.
Here are 5 terrible habits to get rid of now before it gets too hot to handle:
#1 – Misusing electric blankets
Those horrible cold winter nights seem to get worse every year with the cold creeping into your bones.
Thank goodness for your electric blanket, right? Not if you are misusing it, no.
There are a few safety rules to follow to ensure that these warm blankets don’t become fire hazards: don’t let pets snuggle up with you and don’t pile extra blankets on top.
Really?! Well, excessive heat might build up and lead to a fire.
Also, ensure that your blanket is always at the lowest setting, don’t bend the coils and always turn it off in the morning.
#2 – Letting your laptop overheat
You know how hot your laptop can get, especially if you left it on overnight, or if you have been working on it all day.
When you leave your laptop on your bed or on a couch, rug, sofa or any other soft-flammable surface, it restricts the airflow running through the vents.
This could cause your laptop to overheat and possibly catch fire!
It is important that you leave your laptop on a table or a desk if you are not using it, or invest in a laptop cooling system to prevent overheating.
#3 – Using too many extension cords
It should be obvious, but many homeowners don’t know how risky extension cords can be.
Are you aware that this is meant to be a temporary response due to a shortage of electrical sockets and should never become a permanent solution?
Connecting a large number of extension cords for a significant amount of time can cause an overload that can lead to a short circuit and this, in turn, could ignite a fire.
If you use additional outlets, make sure that you hire a professional electrician to install them and avoid this problem altogether.
#4 – Storing batteries improperly
Most DIY homeowners have an everything-drawer where they can find paperclips, pencils, erasers, batteries, you name it.
However, did you know that this is not a very safe way to store your batteries?!
When loose batteries roll around with other metals such as screws or paperclips, the two terminals could short out and generate enough heat to ignite nearby flammables.
To avoid this, you can simply put a piece of tape over the terminals or store the batteries in their original packaging to prevent the possibility of a fire.
#5 – Piling up dirty rags
You just finished staining your DIY furniture project and it is looking great!
All you want to do now is sit down and crack open a cold one, so what do you do?
You toss the oil rag onto the pile where the rest of them are, to throw away ‘later’. Well, left unattended, these rags can be the ingredients to cause a perfect storm: they could oxidize and spontaneously combust, causing a house fire.
Before you take your well-deserved rest, dispose of them in a metal can that has been filled with water and cover it, or lay it outside to dry.
Our everyday habits could very well be the cause of our own danger, so make sure that you follow these tips to keep your home as safe as possible!