Lint in your dryer
Leaving lint in your dryer’s trap-or worse, inside the guts of your dryer-can lead to a fire. Protect yourself: Clean the lint trap after every use, and make sure that the fluffy stuff hasn’t accumulated anywhere else in your machine.
Homes built with aluminum wiring are 55 times more likely than those with copper wiring to go up in smoke, and the odds of a fire increase every year. Protect yourself: If your home was built before 1972, have an electrician check out your wiring.
This common item causes a surprising number of kitchen fires. Use recycled towels? Minute metal flecks can ignite if you put them in the microwave. Protect yourself: Keep the recycled towels far from ovens and toasters, and don’t use them in the microwave.
These are great for dry skin and cracked lips, but dirty reservoirs and filters breed mold and bacteria, putting you at risk from contaminated mist or steam. Protect yourself: Change the water daily and clean the tank often, drying it thoroughly when not in use.
Fireplace and chimneys
Creosote-caked chimneys can cause explosive fires or let carbone monoxide seep into your home. Protect yourself: Hire a chimney sweep and make sure you have a screen in front of your logs to keep embers inside the fireplace, where they belong.
Even if your cockapoo is clean, your house can still get fleas. The little buggers piggyback on rodents, spreading cat scratch disease, hantavirus and even typhus. Protect yourself: If you see rodent droppings, call an exterminator or put our traps. No Rodents, no problem.