Playing with fire is not a joke. Every summer we hear about tragic bushfires and people’s homes getting eaten by the flames. It’s such a powerful and dangerous force of nature that is hard to control. What is even worse, it can be really unexpected.

You may be surprised which things in your house are flammable or can cause a fire. But a safety tip expert on TikTok can help you with that. She made a series on fire safety tips and we would like to draw your attention to the videos in which Cathy Pedrayes explains what can cause a fire in your house that you should be aware of.

Image credits: cathypedrayes

More info: TikTok | Instagram

#1

Dryer

Dryer

Almost 3000 fires happen every year and it's usually started by dust, fiber or lint. So here's some tips. Don't use a dryer without a filter, clean the filter and don't forget to clean behind the dryer, including vent.

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Blue Purple
Community Member
10 months ago

How does one clean behind the dryer? Idk bout yall but my dryer is heavy as heck

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Cathy is a lifestyle expert and a former scientist who is also known as TikTok's 'Mom Friend' because she takes the role of the mom in a friend group. Her whole TikTok account is dedicated to various safety tips and Bored Panda has actually talked about them in previous articles. In one of them you can read about situations in which you should lie and in the other you’ll find some useful things to know when you’re traveling alone. 

Not only she spreads knowledge on TikTok, but she also has a book called The Mom Friend Guide to Everyday Safety and Security in which she put all the important things a person should know.

#2

Dust

Dust

Letting dust build up in vents and behind the electronics.

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Cecily Holland
Community Member
10 months ago (edited)

Dust your appliances People!

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#3

Pets

Pets

1000 fires a year are started by pets. Candles, fireplaces and chewed wires are a risk but the number one cause of house fires started by pets is the stove. If your pet accidentally turns the knob, it can start a fire but you can buy stove knob covers and don't let your pets get into the habit of climbing on the stove.

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Mary Rose Kent
Community Member
10 months ago

My family’s rule for pets was “if a person doesn’t put their butt there, neither does the pet!” No pets on tables, no pets on counter tops, no pets in sinks.

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As previous times, this time we also talked with Cathy again and found out that to create the series on fire safety she contacted the Fire Safety Research Institute which provided her with some resources. She also looks up statistics in various articles and does her research before putting it up in public. 

The thoroughness of her methods in part lie in her educational background. As mentioned, she is a former scientist and Cathy says that it helps her with making her videos.

#4

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

One in five Christmas tree fires start because they're too close to a heat source like a radiator or a fireplace. So, make sure your tree isn't close to those things. Also don't use lights that have frayed wiring, you already know about unattended candles and if you have a real tree make sure you water it, because dry trees are fire hazards.

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Whole Lotta' Baseball
Community Member
10 months ago (edited)

Artificial tree club how we doing?

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She told us, “I'm very data driven so when I think of a concept for a video, I like to look up statistics on the problem. Not every video is based on a ton of stats, but I look for information to support every video and I believe that comes from my science background. Also, one of my specialties was indoor environmental health and I was O.S.H.A. trained,  amongst other certificates, so that helps me see things from another perspective.”

#5

Batteries

Batteries

Leaving 9 volt batteries loose in a drawer where they can short circuit. Put electrical tape over the post to prevent a fire.

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Cecily Holland
Community Member
10 months ago

And don’t leave the slightly swollen ones in their either

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#6

Rangehoods

Rangehoods

Grease can build up and clog the filter making it a fire hazard. Kitchen fires are the most common type of fire in the United States. So clean these monthly.

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May
Community Member
10 months ago

Yeah but how many kitchen fires are caused by this particular problem? My guess would be a very, very small number.

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It seems that Cathy covered every safety measure imaginable. She gave advice on how to identify a scam, how to be safe at home, at college, at a hotel, what to do if you’re being robbed and many others but she still keeps the videos coming. 

Cathy said that it was actually hard to come up with new ideas at the beginning, but it got easier with time and now she has a variety of sources of inspiration, “The more I post, the more ideas I come up with. I find my biggest source of inspiration is reading, real-world experiences and talking to people. I have friends that own cybersecurity firms, have worked for federal agencies and I chat with them regularly. My biggest series ever, Situations When It's Best to Lie, was inspired by a combination of my former job working on a national television network and a conversation I had at a grocery store. You never know when ideas will strike! Plus people's questions in my DMs and the comment section, helps too.”

A fun fact is that Cathy took martial arts for about a decade so she knows quite a few things about personal safety and she used to be a QVC host so she had safety training there as well.

#7

Toaster

Toaster

If crumbs are touching the heat source it can start a fire.

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Cecily Holland
Community Member
10 months ago

It’s takes 2 seconds to remove the tray and empty it. Seriously lazy if can’t be bothered doing that

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#8

Extension Cords

Extension Cords

I'm sure you know not to overload it or plug them into one another, but also don't hide them under a rug, it prevents the cord from releasing heat which could cause a fire. Don't staple them, nail them and don't use them with space heaters. About 3300 fires happen every year because of extension cords.

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May
Community Member
10 months ago

Also don't stick a fork in a socket - what is this advice for 5 year olds? Who doesn't know this?

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One thing that is not related to the tips but related to Cathy that a lot of people point out is that she always wears a blue dress and a pearl necklace and that became her signature look. We were curious to know if there is some hidden meaning behind the outfit and Cathy explained to us what's up with that and it’s actually a touching story.

“The blue dress was a convenience. I had it in my closet and I thought it looks good with the pearls, but the pearl necklace and earrings are family pearls. I got them from my grandmother's house the last time I saw her alive (before COVID) and I had started posting on TikTok more consistently around the time that she passed away, so it was sort of a tribute. We were very close.”

#9

Bathroom Exhaust Fan

Bathroom Exhaust Fan

In older homes there's no safety shutoff so the fan can overheat if it's not clean.

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Leo Domitrix
Community Member
10 months ago

Same is true of anything that feeds into a vent ----- dryer, HVAC, whatever. Keep it clean, keep it safer! :-)

#10

Flour

Flour

Flour suspended in the air with the right conditions is explosive.

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third molar
Community Member
10 months ago

Dough is the answer!!! Esp pizza dough!!

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#11

Light Bulbs

Light Bulbs

Using bulbs with wattage that's too high for the light.

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Markus Siegemund
Community Member
10 months ago

pretty sure she's talking about wattage instead of voltage here but has no clue what the difference is.

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If you would like to see more tips from Cathy, don’t forget to check out the other Bored Panda articles or go to Cathy directly either on her TikTok or her Instagram. Also, let us know which ones of these things you knew to be flammable in the comments!

#12

Ping Pong Balls

Ping Pong Balls

They're made of celluloid, which is extremely flammable, so it is important to keep them away from fire.

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ojjunior
Community Member
10 months ago

I work in cargo airline industry. Ping pong balls are banned from airlift even in cargo aircrafts. These things can even self ignite in some conditions.

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#13

Newspapers

Newspapers

In the right conditions, newspapers can spontaneously combust and they don't even need to be near a heat source. If they're piled up and damp or wet. Heat can build up within the newspapers because of biological activity. It's science, but it can combust. Over 14,000 fires happen every year because of spontaneous combustion and the newspaper pile is a risk.

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Dillon Hughes
Community Member
10 months ago

Yea this I believe can only happen in a compost situation and under perfect rare circumstances. Most of this list is just fear mongering.

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See Also on Bored Panda
#14

Oranges

Oranges

They contain limonene, so if you dry orange peels you can use it to start a fire. And you should be also careful with them as they won't burst into flames by themselves, but they are flammable.

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May
Community Member
10 months ago

Yeah, but they don't spontaneously combust

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