Not all home fire hazards are predictable. Sure we know that matches, candles, cooking and grilling are all common hazards at home, but you should know of the lesser-known, or even unexpected, fire hazards that could be present in your house.

  • Dryer lint – Many dryers recommend cleaning out the lint trap after each use, and for good reason. Excessive heat and lint buildup spell a recipe for disaster, so be sure to monitor the dryer vent and exhaust duct regularly as well
  • Kitchen clutter – Remember all of the things that you keep close to the stove: paper towels, pot holders, and recipe cards. It should be no surprise that 41 percent of all house fires start in the kitchen. Keep a safe buffer zone between your stove and combustible materials, and never cooking unattended.
  • Old appliances – Shoddy wiring and deteriorating insulation could start a fire with a single spark, so replace old or faulty appliances if you think they may be a fire risk. That vintage look may be just your style, but older appliances were made following outdated safety standards.
  • Loose outlets – While we are still on the subject of electrical fire hazards, we need to mention the dangers when a plug does not fit snugly into an outlet. The blades inside an outlet can loosen over time, and loose blades generate an intense amount of heat.
  • Excessive sawdust – Sawdust tends to burn extremely quick, and much faster than other types of dust because it tends to be more concentrated. Sawdust can accumulate on nearly every surface in your workshop, where it can combust and spread fast. Regularly vacuum your work area, and never use an air compressor, which can propel dust into the air and into tougher to clean areas.

While you can take steps to prevent common causes of house fires, one of the most important ways to avoid becoming a statistic is the implementation of a family fire escape plan.

For more information on fire prevention, contact a fire safety expert at Brigade Fire Systems on Safety Drive in Belmont, Michigan.