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To start off the upcoming New Year, Olympus Insurance is presenting our latest Homeowner Insights series on Home Safety. Last article, we covered how smartphones can be used to remotely manage home safety features. This week, we’re concluding our series by highlighting lesser-known causes of home fires.
Most home fires start in the kitchen, where overheated oil, burning food, or a misplaced potholder can set the room ablaze. Fire prevention usually focuses on kitchen safety, and reminders about smoking indoors, curious children, or unattended candles. However, more than 50,000 house fires start every year due to some sort of electrical issue.
Here are four fire hazards in your home that you might not have considered, and what you can do to prevent disaster.
Chargers and electronics
Laptops, phones, and tablets overheating can present a serious fire hazard. Avoid leaving phones or other devices on your bed, especially if they have shown a tendency to overheat. Place them on a table or nightstand instead, and make sure to replace chargers when they become frayed or broken — even if they still work.
Loose wall outlets
If you use an outlet enough, the prongs inside can come loose. This can cause your plugs to wobble around or fall out. This is a serious electrical hazard, as repeated brushes between connections can cause sparking. If your outlets start feeling unstable, replace the wall unit as soon as possible, and don’t leave anything plugged into it.
While your vintage toaster, fan, or coffee maker might still be chugging along, the electrical wiring is likely outdated and deteriorating. Consider replacing it with a newer, safety-standard model, or at least rewire it so it’s up-to-date.
A few 9-volt batteries rolling around in a miscellaneous drawer don’t seem like serious fire hazards, but if they bump into each other or metal objects like coins or nails, they can spark and set your drawers on fire. Be sure to keep batteries in their original packaging until use, or wrap them in electrical tape until you need them. If they’re out of juice, recycle them properly. Even nearly-dead batteries can still cause issues when left in an “odds and ends” drawer.
Always make certain that smoke-detectors are operational, fire extinguishers are accessible, and that your fire evacuation plan has been thoroughly discussed and practiced. Prevention is key when it comes to house fires, but preparation can provide a backup plan in case of a conflagration.
This concludes the Olympus Insights educational series on Home Safety. Join us next month for a new and exciting theme.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not form a part of, replace, change or amend any terms, conditions, provisions or language within your Olympus Insurance policy. We encourage you to read your entire policy.