Home is where we feel safe from the dangers that lie waiting in the larger world. But the most ordinary things can turn deadly if they're misused or neglected. More than 30,000 people die of accidental injuries each year at home in the United States, and the numbers have been trending upward since the year 2000, according to a study published this year in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Home insurance can come to the rescue to repair or replace property after a catastrophe that's covered by your policy. Here are 14 of the deadliest things in your home.
Fires that start from cigarettes, cigars and pipes kill more Americans every year than any other type of home fire, the National Fire Protection Association says. Although cigarettes and other smoking materials caused only 5 percent of home fires from 2007 to 2011, those fires accounted for 22 percent of home fire deaths. Don't smoke in bed, and don't leave cigarettes unattended.
Home heating equipment in general, including fireplaces, chimneys central heating units and space heaters, was the second leading cause of home fire deaths from 2007 to 2011, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Space heaters are responsible for four out of every five home heating equipment fire deaths. Plug space heaters directly into outlets, the U.S. Fire Administration advises, never into extension cords or power strips. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heaters, and only use equipment that's been labeled by a recognized testing laboratory.
Fires that start from cooking are the leading cause of home fire injuries and the third leading cause of home fire deaths, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Fires involving ranges or cooktops killed an average 340 people a year from 2007 to 2011.