Some fire hazards are obvious—untended fireplaces, forgotten candles, space heaters—but many are not so obvious and can be hidden in plain sight. We want your home to be a healthy and safe place for you and your family so we’ve outlined below five common household fire hazards that can often go unnoticed and threaten your home safety.

Lint Build Up in the Dryer

Doing the laundry is considered a chore for a reason. Most of the time you want it done as quickly and painlessly as possible. But this can sometimes lead to forgetting crucial safety steps when it comes to doing laundry, namely, the lint in the dryer vent. You need to clean out the dryer vent before each use of the dryer because lint builds up fast and when the heat from the dryer gets involved, it can become a serious fire hazard. In fact, as many as 25,000 fires start each year nationwide as a result of lint build-up in dryer vents. That’s why it’s important to both check the vent yourself before each use and schedule inspection and cleaning regularly.

As many as 25,000 fires start each year nationwide as a result of lint build-up in dryer vents.

Your Pets as a Fire Hazard

Pets and children are both wildcards in your home. And as well behaved and trained as a pet may be, they can still cause accidental fires, especially if your pet is not crated while you’re out of the home. Pets have been known to accidentally turn on appliances, knock over flammable materials, chew on electrical wires, and more. If your pet can’t be crated or confined to one room during the day, it’s important to make sure all fire hazards are taken care of–items unplugged, candles out, appliances turned off.

Sunlight and Glass Can Endanger Home Safety

This one may surprise you. You’ve probably seen in plenty of movies some child playing a nasty game of taking a magnifying glass to leaves or small insects. The same principle applies here. If you have glass items in the direct path of sunlight, they can catch the light at such an angle that it magnifies and directs the heat onto something combustible. It’s rare, but it happens and is an important reason why you should take extra care to place your glass items in your home carefully. Another option is to look at getting tinted windows installed as a way to cut down on the intensity of the light coming through your windows.

The Surprising Furniture Fire Hazard

This is another rare but serious fire hazard in the home that you’ve probably never heard of. It’s called pyrolysis. If you have wooden furniture, it can become combustible if exposed to the sun for long enough. Over time this can cause chemical decomposition of the wood which allows it to become flammable. If left in the heat of the sun for long enough, it may eventually catch fire as a result. To combat this, place any wooden furniture away from direct sunlight sources or heating elements in your home.

Your Dishwasher

For something that utilizes so much water, there are a couple of ways it could cause a fire. First, you may have noticed you’ve gone to use your dishwasher only to find it suddenly throwing sparks. This is a dangerous sign that something is very wrong with the inner workings of the dishwasher and those sparks alone could start a fire or simply be a symptom of an even bigger fire hazard. Another issue with dishwashers is water drying on exposed wires or the melting of materials within the dishwasher. Never run your dishwasher when you’re not home and have it inspected regularly.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to have your home inspected for fire hazards and fire safety. And if you find yourself trying to put the pieces back together after a fire, we can find you help.

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