4 hidden fire hazards that might be in your home

February 3, 2015

There are many potential hazards during the winter that you're probably aware of, like faulty space heaters or unattended fireplaces. However, there are also a number of less obvious issues that could be putting your home and family at risk. Check for these four hidden fire hazards this winter.

1. Lint traps
Your clothes dryer can cause big problems if not properly maintained. It should be part of your laundry routine to clean the lint pocket after every load, and you also need to clean out the lint trap periodically. If too much dirt and dust build up inside the dryer, it can turn into a dangerous fire hazard.

2. Loose batteries
Standard AA batteries are fine to store in your junk drawer, but 9-volt batteries are trickier. If you have some of these energy sources on hand for toys, make sure you're storing them properly. State Farm explained that because both posts are on top of 9-volt batteries, any piece of metal can create a bridge between them. If a battery's posts are connected by a coin or other bit of metal, it will create a charge that can ignite a fire. Store unused batteries in their original containers and cover the posts of used items with black electrical tape.

3. Consoles and laptops
The new electronics you got for the holidays can pose a threat if not stored properly. Video gaming consoles can easily get overheated if they're packed into an entertainment center, so make sure they have a clear shelf with nothing on top of the console. Laptops are another common culprit, so explain to your family that the computers need to be used on a flat surface to ensure proper air circulation. 

4. Dust bunnies
These fuzzy balls aren't so cute when they get caught under floor heaters or in electrical sockets. All it takes to start a fire is one errant spark. When you're cleaning, double-check the corners of your home and underneath furniture for dust accumulation.

The information in these articles is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.