Hazards in the home come in various shapes and sizes, and they cause several kinds of accidents. A home hazard may be enough to cause a fire, small enough to cause an injury in the kitchen, or large enough to find yourself in the hospital with a child who has been poisoned.

Hazards are possible for each and every one of us, whether we are older adults or children. Hazards in the home can be prevented and avoided if the right safety precautions are taken. Here are five hazards you may not have considered that you should look out for.

1. What’s Inside of Your Bags? 

Be it a handbag, purse, backpack, or a luggage from a vacation that is yet to be unpacked, our bags often store hazardous items.

Your bag may have pepper spray, makeup, hand sanitizer, weapons, nail polish, and various other items that could cause a dangerous incident if ingested or mishandled.

No matter how safe you assume your bag is, always remove it from the reach of a child. No leaving bags on couches, the floor, or anywhere within a child’s vantage point.

2. The Newspapers You’re Storing

Reading the morning paper with a cup of coffee is a peaceful way to start any day. It’s a pleasure to have these papers delivered to our homes to consume.

Many households hold on to old papers for souvenirs or to recycle. This isn’t usually an issue, unless your newspapers get too close to a heat source.

Too close to a heat source and your newspapers can catch on fire, spreading the fire to other flammable areas in the home. Avoid this hazard by keeping newspapers and other flammable items away from heat sources.

3. How About Those Dryers

We’ve covered the potential threat of dryer fires before on our blog, and this scenario may be the most well-known of the five on the list. Nonetheless, it’s something worth considering.

Dryer fires happen when lint piles up in a clothes dryer. Excessive heat combined with this lint buildup can cause a disastrous fire. These fires are dangerous, because they can quickly spread and ignite the entire home.

Prevent dryer related fires by constantly cleaning the dryer vent and exhaust duct. Always check to see if the interior of a dryer is free of lint. It’s suggested to remove lint from the dryer after each use.

4. Crumbs in the Toaster

Once our toast has a nice finish to it, hopefully not burnt or too toasted, we place our jam or condiment of choice on the bread and go about our business. Little do many of us realize that this same toaster can cause a hazardous fire.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the kitchen is the most fire-prone place in the home, but many people never consider their toaster as a potential threat. After a number of uses, crumbs can pile up at the bottom of toasters.

But if these crumbs spark and there’s enough build up, they can start a flame that will ignite all of the items around it. Remember to clean your toasters on a regular basis.

5. Leaves in the Gutter

When we talk about fires at the home, most homeowners are under the impression that these fires can only occur inside of the home. This isn’t necessarily the case.

Many areas are known for wild fires, but even an area with extreme heat can fall victim to a match or thrown out cigarette. Leaves that are collecting in the gutter are the perfect location for a spark to create a fire. This fire can then spread to the lawn and other parts of the home.

Remember to always keep the gutter clear of debris, but all around lawn care should be your aim. Don’t allow bushes to overgrow or branches to gather on your lawn. Remove any materials that could pose a fire threat.