While most home fires are cooking-related, there are many other ways a fire can start in a home. Objects that may seem completely harmless can sometimes start a fire under the right circumstances. Here are 5 uncommon causes of home fires you should be aware of:
1. Glass objects
We all know that light passing through magnifying glass can start a fire if pointed to a flammable object. However, in very rare cases, fires can start due to light passing through an empty jar, crystal ball or another glass object. When the light is refracted by these objects towards curtains, paper or another flammable source, a fire can start if given enough time. To avoid this, make sure to keep glassware in a shaded area.
While household appliances are known to start fires, not many people know that dishwashers can also pose a fire risk, although small. A fire can be caused by a faulty dishwasher when water drips onto the machine’s internal wires. Have your dishwasher maintained and repaired once a year to prevent any fire hazards, as well as water leaks.
3. 9-Volt Batteries
Although very rare, fires can start due to improper disposal of 9-volt batteries. When the battery’s posts come in contact with a piece of metal, and that piece of metal touches a flammable object (such as a piece of paper), a fire can start. Store used 9-volt batteries away from metals and place a piece of tape on top of its posts. Visit your city or county website to find out where to safely dispose of batteries for recycling.
Laptops produce quite a bit of heat when operating for several hours. If you put your laptop directly on a bed, couch or another soft surface, there is a slight chance that the heat produced by the laptop will start a fire. Prevent laptop fires by using laptop stands and cooling pads or by placing them on a non-flammable surface.
It may sound strange, but the dust bunnies under beds and furniture can be a fire hazard if they are close to wall sockets, heating appliances or electronics. Dust bunnies can ignite if sparks fly towards them, possibly spreading fire towards nearby furniture. Vacuum under beds and furniture regularly to eliminate this small fire hazard.