Home > Kids > Childhood Safety > Fire Safety > Household Fire Hazards
|

Household Fire Hazards

Rays and Rainbows

Out thrifting again (you just can't stay away), you find a beautiful old cut-glass vase. It probably isn't Waterford, but you don't care. It's big and heavy and you know it will look great on the new side table in your living room.

You bring the vase home, fill it with water and flowers, and place it on the table, which is located dead center under the picture windows in your living room. Your kids love the rainbows the sun creates when shining through the cuts in the glass, and delight when they fall on the upholstered sofa that sits near the table.

Cause for concern? Definitely! Water inside a bottle focuses the sun's rays to a very specific point -- a point concentrated enough to cause a fire.

How Dry I Am

Around the House

Dryer fires are amazingly common. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, they spark almost 16,000 fires annually, resulting in more than $84 million in property damages, about a dozen deaths, and more than 300 injuries.

A Fine Mess

Dryers that run noisy, that take too long to dry, and that make clothes feel really hot are fire risks. Don't keep running yours if you spot any of these warning signs.

Aunt Bea and family decide to stay with you for the summer. Instead of your usual four or five loads of wash a week, you're running about 20. Young cousin Betty Sue, however, is shouldering the lion's share of the work. It seems like she spends more time in the laundry room than outdoors, which is a sad state of affairs for someone who's just 11 years old, but she seems to enjoy her work. She also seems pretty competent at it, so you aren't hovering over her.

The last few loads of wash that Betty Sue has delivered to you are covered with dryer lint. You make a mental note to ask her about it, but it falls off your to-do list.

Cause for concern? You betcha. What little Betty Sue might not know is that she needs to clean out the dryer's lint trap before and after every load.

Lint buildup and improper venting are both concerns. Improperly maintained vents and screens impede the flow of hot, moist, linty air to the outdoors. Let it go for long enough, and the hot air can cause a fire.

Always clear lint filters before and after you run a dryer, and wipe away any lint that accumulates around the drum. Don't run your dryer when you're not home, and keep the vent pipes unobstructed. Check the outdoor vent flap regularly to make sure it's clear and working properly. They collect dirt and debris easily.



|

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Common Household Disasters © 2005 by Paul Hayman and Sonia Weiss. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

get ready for school!

We’ve got your
shopping list,
lunch menu,
and more.

GO

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

7 Tips for Reading Aloud to Babies & Toddlers
The AAP advises reading aloud to babies and toddlers because it boosts brain power and has many other benefits. Get some tips for making the most of story time with your tot!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

How to Survive Summer Boredom
When the kids are home all day, every day, summer boredom strikes hard and fast. Learn the best summer boredom busters and tips for surviving until September.

12 Birthday Party Favors that Won't Get Thrown Away
The next time you're planning a birthday, forgo the penny candy and cheap toys. Send your guests home with one of these fun and creative party favor ideas!