Most of us would love to believe that our home is the safest place on earth. We agree that a house will keep you safe from getting hit by vehicles, bad weather and such. But what about the hazards that we have INSIDE the house? Especially fire hazards…
According to a statistic report from BOMBA Malaysia (2013), there were 5,817 reported cases of fire that involve buildings. To reduce (hopefully eliminate) the possibility of being part of the statistic, we have gathered the biggest fire hazards at homes that you need to be aware and get rid of.
1. Leaving pots and pans on stove unattended
This usually starts off as a habit. For example, leaving a pot of chicken soup to be boiled for a couple more minutes while you take a quick shower. Imagine what will happen if you had to rush out quickly, or take a phone call, and you totally forget about it! Even if you are a master chef, NEVER EVER leave the stove on without supervision, not even for a short period of time.
2. Malfunctioning electrical appliances
Sometimes we hear a crackling sound from the table lamp and decide to simply ignore it. This sound is actually the first indicator that there’s something wrong with the lamp. Prolonged usage of malfunctioning electrical appliances will increase the risk of a fire. Taking note of these sounds and checking the appliance could eventually prevent a fire breaking out, not to mention saving your life.
There have also been several cases recently involving exploding laptops. Recently, HP recalled over 100,000 batteries due to this issue. Even if you don’t use the defective model, you should be careful when charging your laptop as overcharging or leaving it charging on fabric surfaces can lead to a fire. Beware of buying counterfeit replacement batteries too.
3. Power overload on extension chord
All extension cords will come with a guide on how much voltage it can support. If the extension cord only has three, only use up to three appliances following the maximum power capacity it can support. DO NOT add any more extra adaptors to it as it will cause power overload and might lead to bigger electrical and fire hazards.
4. Flammable products not properly kept
Aerosol cans such as mosquito spray and hair spray are fine examples of flammable products. As aerosol containers are pressurised, they should not be exposed to extreme heat above 50°C such as in the car, near the stove or any fire flames. Remember to read the warning sign at the back of the can on how to store the product properly.
5. A disorganised kitchen
Try to keep things organised in your kitchen. Putting a kitchen roll or towel near the stove can be very dangerous. Only a small fire is needed to burn the whole roll and cause panic in your kitchen. Always have your kitchen arranged according to your needs and invest in a good heatproof silicone mitten instead.
6. Worn out cables (especially under the carpet)
Electrical cables are covered with rubber for an important reason. It is to protect you from being electrocuted when using the cables. Besides potentially being electrocuted, the heated copper wire might lead to fire if it touches any flammable materials such as paper or cloth.
7. Burning candles left unattended
A romantic candelit dinner or lighting scented candles might just end up in a horrible tragedy if you leave the burning candles unsupervised. Cats or kids might accidentally hit the candles where they can fall on the carpet, curtain, other fabrics, leading to a fire. Always remember to blow out any candles before you leave the room or go out, use a candleholder, and try not to place them near flammable objects.
8. Mosquito coil at the wrong place
Although there are various options available for mosquito repellant, some people still prefer the good old method of mosquito coil. Please be reminded to put the coil away from any items that can burn easily and out of reach from children.
9. Dryer machine clogged up
A dryer is a machine that eliminates moisture from your clothes through the vent. If the vent is experiencing blockage and could not release the moisture, heat will build up inside the machine. This will then become a potential source of a fire accident in your home. Always do a routine maintenance on your dryer to reduce this possibility, and make sure you empty the lint filter every time you use the dryer.
10. Dust buildup on electronic devices
If you are the kind of person who never dusts your electronic devices, it is about time to do so. Dust build-up might cause your devices to become overheated if their vents are covered. When the heat is not properly released, the chance of combustion increases. The consequences could be worse than just a spoiled router if it reaches the flashpoint and sets ablaze the fabric furniture or carpet nearby.