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5 hidden things in your home that may be a fire hazard

5 hidden things in your home that may be a fire hazard

Keep your family and property safe by being mindful of these hidden fire dangers in your home.

1. Beware these hidden fire traps

Keep your family and property safe by being mindful of these hidden fire dangers in your home.

2. Smoke detector

Every year people die because their smoke detectors didn’t go off during a fire. That’s usually because the batteries were dead (or had been removed to stop false alarms) or the detector was past its useful life or was located where occupants couldn’t hear the alarm.

3. Cooking fires

A towel or curtains hanging too close to an unattended stove can ignite. The statistics: Cooking fires cause 23 per cent of home fires and 9 per cent of deaths. The grease in an unattended frying pan catches on fire and ignites nearby combustibles, which in turn ignite curtains, cabinets or anything else in the vicinity.

4. Extension cords

Overloaded extension cords, bad connections and other careless use of electrical devices can melt wire insulation and cause a fire. The statistics: Electrical equipment causes nine percent of home fires and 10 percent of deaths. Overloaded extension cords, hidden electrical shorts, bad connections and oversized bulbs and fixtures can ignite nearby combustibles and burn down your house.

5. Gas water heaters

Clothes piled too close to a gas water heater can ignite when the water heater comes on, especially if the protective doors for the gas burners are missing. Appliances (clothes dryers and gas water heaters) cause 7 percent of home fires and 4 percent of deaths. After problems with stoves and heaters, the biggest culprits in appliance fires are lint in dryers and combustibles near gas water heaters.

Written by Nick Gerhardt. This article first appeared in Reader’s Digest. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, here’s our best subscription offer.