Avoid These Bad Habits That Could Burn Down Your House

house firesHoliday decorations such as Christmas trees are notorious for starting house fires.

But did you know that many ordinary household necessities are equally at fault for causing many house fires?

Seemingly harmless items like laptops, lint traps, or light bulbs can easily become potential fire starters if used incorrectly.

A recent article on Yahoo! identified 14 bad habits that increase the risk of causing your home to go up in flames. Here are just a few:

  • Don’t pile up dirty rags. Many DIY-ers refinish their own furniture and then toss the oil-soaked rags in the corner of the garage.These rags could oxidize and spontaneously combust, causing a fire. Oily rags should always be disposed of properly, either by laying them flat outside to dry or by placing them in a metal can filled with water.
  • Clean out your dryer lint regularly. Lint traps are meant to be cleaned regularly, but many people overlook this important task. Since lint is flammable, mixing excessive heat with lint build-up can easily lead to disaster.
  • Don’t let your laptop overheat. Leaving your laptop on a bed, couch, or rug can result in it quickly getting too hot because of restricted airflow through the cooling vents. It’s always best to keep your laptop on a desk or table instead.
  • Don’t store batteries improperly. Throwing loose batteries into your junk drawer means they could mingle with other metals such as screws or paper clips, easily shorting out and generating enough heat to ignite other flammables in the drawer. Instead, store batteries in their original packaging, or put a piece of electrical tape over the terminals.
  • Hire a chimney sweep annually. Chimney fires are often caused by built-up creosote, dead birds, or animal nests. Having a professional clean your chimney once a year reduces this risk.

Click here to learn about more bad habits you should avoid to prevent house fires.

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