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Most Common Fire Hazards in Homes and How to Avoid Them

1. Cooking accidents

​According to Baxter Restoration, the leading cause of fires in homes and resulting injuries is cooking. Becoming distracted while cooking food on the stove or in the oven can greatly increase the risk of a fire. It is recommended to keep flammable items such as oven mitts, wooden objects, and aprons away from the stove and to set a timer to remind yourself to take food out of the oven and turn it off when the food inside is finished cooking. You should also use a lid or a fire extinguisher to put out any grease fires.

2. Unwatched candles

​Candles can add a cozy ambience and relaxing scent to any room of your home, but even a tiny candle can turn into a large fire risk if left unattended. If you decide to light a candle in your home, be sure to keep an eye on it, clear the radius around the candle of flammable materials such as cloth, keep it out of reach of pets and children, and blow it out and put it in a safe place when you’d like to exit the room.

3. Dryer lint

While your home’s drying machine may seem innocuous enough, neglecting to clean the lint filter can result in a highly dangerous fire. In fact, the Red Cross reported that approximately 9 of every 10 appliance fires are caused by dryers. To reduce this risk, make sure to clear the lint filter after every load of laundry you dry, as the filter should always be inserted when the dryer is in operation.

4. Broken smoke detectors

​As the saying goes, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire” — a smoke detector’s job is to alert your home’s inhabitants of a probable fire in the home so that you know to take the appropriate measures such as exiting the home. As such, a smoke detector that doesn’t work properly will fail to alert you of such a dangerous situation and put your and your family’s health and safety at great risk. Your home’s smoke alarms should be tested every month and have their batteries replaced if needed to ensure they are in working order.

5. Electrical hazards

​As our reliance on electricity and electronic devices grows, so too does the potential for an electrical fire to spark up. Improperly-used extension cords, uncovered light bulbs, and loose outlets all pose a serious fire risk. Always cover light bulbs with lamp shades, use the proper wattage of light bulb for the light fixture, and turn off the light when you exit the room or home. In addition, make sure to properly dispose of old or damaged electrical cords, and refrain from using a loose outlet until it has been fixed by an electrician. Last but certainly not least, never pour water on an electrical fire!

No matter how many precautions you take, the risk of a fire breaking out in your home is never zero. Call American Insurance to discuss your homeowners insurance options today!