One of the risks of homeownership is the potential for fire damage, a costly and traumatic experience that no homeowner wants to face. SERVPRO of Media is highlighting seven items, which are commonly found around the house, that can lead to a dangerous blaze that inflicts expensive property damage on a home.
1. Cosmetic Products
Some of the chemicals found in beauty and skincare products are very flammable. Products contained in aerosol canisters are especially dangerous because the highly pressurized container can explode under the right conditions. According to Safety Management Group, “As long as the can and the dispensing device remain intact, aerosol cans are safe. But any number of problems, such as a puncture, a faulty valve, excessive temperatures, or corrosion can result in unintended depressurization.”
Safety Management Group also provides the following recommendations for the storage of aerosol containers: “Aerosol cans should always be stored in dry areas where they will not be exposed to excessive temperatures. As the temperature rises, pressure in the can will increase, and ambient temperatures about 120 degrees Fahrenheit may lead to explosions….Aerosol cans should never be placed in fires or heated locations, because they may explode, and the propellant may be flammable.”
Skin creams, specifically paraffin-based ones, present another safety concern. Allure, a beauty publication, highlights a report that warns that “if someone uses skin-care products with paraffin on a regular basis but doesn’t change or wash their bedding or clothing often, the paraffin residue can soak into the fabric. Then, if that fabric comes in contact with a cigarette, or a flame from a heater or candle, that residue can act as an accelerant.”
2. Nail Polish and Nail Polish Remover
Because of their acetone content, nail polish and nail polish remover present a fire risk and should never be used or kept near an open flame. Regarding nail polish, Firefighter Insider notes, “Nail polish is usually flammable, at least when wet. Most nail polishes use an acetone base, which is flammable. However, once the nail polish dries it is usually no longer flammable, though it can still catch fire in some situations.”
Nail polish remover, on the other hand, often has a high acetone content and remains in a state that is extremely vulnerable to catching fire. Even non-acetone nail polish remover is very flammable due to the presence of chemicals such as ethyl acetate and methyl acetate.
3. Hand Sanitizer
COVID-19 has generated a renewed appreciation for cleanliness and precautionary measures, such as using hand sanitizer. However, people should be aware that alcohol-based sanitizers are highly flammable and can be ignited quickly. Occasionally, even static electricity can cause sanitizer to burst into flames.
4. Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is a common household product used for purposes such as first aid, cleaning, disinfecting, and deodorizing. This substance is also extremely flammable and should be treated with caution when used.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns homeowners against using rubbing alcohol to eliminate bedbugs. The EPA states that “this compound vaporizes quickly, is flammable and has caused numerous house fires when used to control bed bugs.”
5. Laundry Supplies
From laundry detergents to fabric softeners, products used for cleaning clothes abound with chemicals that are easily set on fire. Wherever flammable chemicals are present, safe, secure storage is key to ensuring that the conditions for triggering a raging house fire are never met.
6. Vehicle Care Products
The garage is filled with substances that can catch fire or accelerate an existing fire. Products that should be treated with care include:
- Motor oil
- Brake fluid
- Auto wax
In addition to implementing safe storage practices for hazardous substances, consider investing in non-flammable, non-toxic, and eco-friendly auto care supplies.
7. Pool Care Products
Homeowners may not realize how dangerous pool chemicals can be. In Massachusetts, only a few states over from Pennsylvania, the State Fire Marshal issued a statement to remind pool owners to exercise caution when handling pool chemicals. According to the press release, “‘Pool chemicals can be dangerous when they become wet or are mixed with other chemicals,’ said State Fire Marshal Ostroskey, ‘The two most important things to remember are: always mix pool chemicals outdoors; and powder in the water, never water in the powder.’” The press release went on to highlight several incidents involving pool products, including a June 2020 situation involving accidental explosions caused when the resident combined two pool chemicals.
Should a fire occur at a home, the homeowner can turn to SERVPRO of Media to provide an emergency response. Relying on industry-leading training and equipment, the fire damage restoration technicians will work rapidly and thoroughly, enabling clients to enjoy a prompt return to the comfort of their homes.
To learn more about fire damage restoration services in Newtown Square, PA, call SERVPRO of Media at (610) 566-5720. The damage restoration company can also be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.