You love your technology and probably have a lot of it at home. You might not think of computers, smartphones, printers, or routers as a fire risk, but they can do real damage.
Microwaves, laundry machines, and air conditioners are the top sources of residential fires, but computer equipment is also responsible for fires that injure and kill homeowners.
So, what should you do? Keep in mind that your technology generates heat when it’s switched on; that’s why it’s designed with venting. But desktops, laptops, routers, modems, and printers can all overheat.
Desktop computers have fans to push out the air, but they can get clogged with dust or blocked. Often, we’ll see computers pushed up again a wall, covered with papers, or kept in a small alcove that gets no airflow.
Laptops can also overheat. People often sit with their laptops literally on their lap, or on a blanket or pillow. If you’re blocking the device’s exhaust port, the laptop can’t cool down.
Air also needs to get into the device to cool it, but that won’t happen properly if dust or pet hair clogs the vents. Your precious technology could overheat and cause a fire or stop functioning effectively because it has to work harder all the time.
Other Tech-Related Fire Threats
A rat’s nest of cables represents a fire risk. You should always try to avoid overloading your circuits with too much electrical load. You can also upgrade your electrical wiring and go with heavy-duty extension cords.
Charging cords and overheated batteries are another issue. You’ve probably heard of airlines banning certain smartphones because they have been known to spontaneously combust.
You can prevent charger and battery damage by choosing brand-name items. Third-party chargers for phones, tablets, and laptops can save money, but they are cheaper because they lack safety features. If your charger sets your room on fire, your cost savings go up in flames.
You might also think about getting an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). This battery backup supplies power if your regular power source fails. It can also prevent power surges and allow for safe shutdown of connected equipment.
Finally, plan to get your computer cleaned annually. You might do this yourself, but many people prefer to hire computer tech help.