SHARP HOME

Friday, 19 October 2012

Fire hazards in your home


In addition to endangering the lives of those in an affected home, unintentional fires cause hundreds of thousands of dollars damage every year. The most frustrating aspect of these accidents is that in most cases, the incident was very easily preventable. Here are some common culprits for fire-starting in the home:

stove top – leaving the stove unattended is one way to cook up disaster—no pun intended. Despite that you may have made sure to leave the heat low, there is always a chance of liquid bubbling over, or debris somehow being blown into the burner element. If this happens without your knowledge of it, a fire may start in a matter of seconds. This is particularly true if oil is involved. Moreover, even if you have a small kitchen, you really should resist the urge to use your stove top as additional counter space. You may think you are being careful to check if it is hot before placing an item on it, but the fact of the matter is that we all get distracted from time to time, and carry out our work on autopilot. If you're using your stove top as a counter, there will come a time when you place something on it when it isn't safe to do so; and if that something is flammable, the damage could be substantial.

Oven – similarly to the stove top, this should not be left on unattended. Despite that you've got errands to run, and baking times can be long, stick around when you're expecting to bake something. Don't dismiss smells of burning. While they are usually harming and owing to the burning of crumbs at the bottom of the oven, this isn't always the case. Monitoring your oven from time to time is important when it's in use. Also, if you are a user of parchment paper, be careful to not let the paper come into contact with heating elements.

Candles – unattended candles are one of the leading causes of home fires. You should never turn your back on an open flame—even for a minute. If any tremor or movement in your home knocks the candle over, or if a flammable item falls on or beside it, it won't take long for fire to catch.

Power cords – frayed, worn out, and damaged power cords are definitely a fire hazard. This is especially true if the exposed wires of these cords are in contact with your carpets or any other type of fabric. If you have pets, be sure to keep cords out of their chewing range. When you notice any damage at all to a cord, discontinue its use immediately and replace it with an undamaged one.

Appliances – faulty appliances, such as hairdryers and toasters, can emit sparks that will trigger a fire in a matter of seconds. If you know that an appliance is damaged, don't use it.

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