It's easy to spot the obvious culprits of home fires: cooking fires, cigarettes and faulty wiring. However, there are so many other fire dangers in your home that you have probably overlooked. If you want to prevent a house fire, check out these four fire hazards in your home that you may be ignoring.

Clothes Dryer

Okay, so you may be aware that you need to empty the lint tray whenever you use the clothes dryer, but is that all you're doing? If so, you're still at risk for a dryer fire. Lint is like dust, and it collects and gathers in hidden nooks and crannies, building up until it could lead to a devastating fire. Besides removing lint from the lint tray, you need to keep lint away from the heating element, so you need to clean the exhaust vent and the inside of the cabinet routinely.

Loose Outlets

Isn't it annoying when you go to plug something in, but the plug just falls right out? Well, it's dangerous too. It's common for outlets to wear down and loosen as they age. Over time, the outlet just can't hold the plug flush against it, leaving exposed metal from the plug. These plugs create a lot of heat, which can lead to a fire. As soon as your outlets can't hold the plugs snugly anymore, replace them. Until you do, make sure to keep any flammable items, such as curtains always from the plug.

Electric Blankets and Heating Pads

It's so cozy to snuggle up with an electric blanket on a cold day or with a heating pad when your neck is sore. However, these can also lead to fires, especially if they are old. To protect yourself from fire, discard any old electric blankets and heating pads you have and get newer ones. Newer ones have safety features, such as automatic shutoff and temperature settings. Whether yours is old or new, however, watch for frayed wires, holes in the fabric, sparks or broken controls, and never sleep with them or use them longer than recommended.

Laptops

Laptops are a great way to work or play on the go, but they tend to get hot fast. If you're laptop is on a desk or laptop stand when this happens, the risk is minimal. Unfortunately, the nice thing about laptops is that you can use them while you relax in bed or on the couch. If the hot laptop is left on these surfaces, it may not be able to vent properly, causing it to get even hotter and possibly catch on fire. Always leave a hot laptop on a desk or stand, and if yours doesn't seem to be venting as well as it should, have it examined or replaced.

Nobody wants to suffer through a home fire, and there are many steps you can take to avoid one. Don't wait until it's too late, take a tour of your house and look for any potential fire hazards. 

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