TODAY   |  October 01, 2013

Prepare your home for these household hazards

From the cords on your toaster to dryer-lint buildup, you need to protect your home from mnay different kinds of hazards. Amy Matthews, host of HGTV’s “Renovation Raiders,” shares some of the most common ones you may encounter.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> when was the last time you cleaned out your dryer vent ?

>> yesterday.

>> what about the correct wattage in your light bulb ?

>> maybe never. well these every day things around your house could be dangerous to you and your family. here to point out these hazards are amy matthews . good morning amy.

>> good morning. thanks for having me.

>> grease fires first.

>> most common cause of household fire is cooking. never put water on it. it needs to be put out by a fire suppressant. suffocate it. you want to cutoff the oxygen to the fire. if you don't have any of these you can use a pan lid or cookie sheet or anything but --

>> anything on it.

>> anything on it.

>> except water.

>> except water.

>> no sugar, flour, no salt.

>> those things will blow up.

>> over here, let's talk about hazardous cords. a lot of us think we can get by another couple of years with that.

>> check your cords, especially to your toaster because it uses more wattage than anything in the kitchen. make sure there's not something that looks like that. it should be plugged into an outlet by itself and no paper towels or cook books around it.

>> you don't have to unplug it every day.

>> when you go away for awhile.

>> perfect idea. who wants to vacuum.

>> our dryer, the back of the dryer, a lot of people don't look behind the dryer.

>> they do and all of this lint really packs up. so pull the dryer away, take a look back here and vacuum this out. there will be a ton of lint build up.

>> you hear about dryer fires all the time.

>> it will cause a fire. look at all of the stuff. look at that, your jeans.

>> how long do you have to do this?

>> once a year. all of these things are easy to do once a year. make sure you check out the outside exhaust as well.

>> it has to be four inches from the wall.

>> actually the water because of the kinking in the lines back there. most of them sit a little ways away because of the vents.

>> speaking of water, water damage -- i just fixed a whole wall because of water damage .

>> did you need this.

>> where were you? oh, you were busy with your little show.

>> i was renovating ten other houses. take a look at the line behind your washing machine. turn the water off. if any of these are old or frayed replace them. upgrade to one of these. this is a steel braided line which is stronger and warrantied for longer. turn on a faucet on something nearby so the water drains so you don't cause your own water damage while you're fixing it.

>> that would not be good.

>> this is the over wattage situation.

>> your lights don't have the wattage situations for fun. they want you to do that so you're safe. your regular bulb is really inefficient number one. you have your cfls and leds and halogen lamps. how much energy it uses has nothing to do with the brightness. let's say you have 100 watts for this and for this and this equals 22 watts from cfl but they both give the same light so you can get more light with less wattage.

>> yeah.

>> more environmentally.

>> and they last longer and they -- it's just much smarter.

>> big huge problem at my house.

>> quickly.

>> always check them once a year to make sure all of your fire and smoke alarms have batteries in them. pick the same day like new years every year and make sure you have another fire extinguisher for the whole house. one day, peace of mind . do them one time and you're done.

>> great information. thank you. my to do list has grown by a lot.

>> we can come over for you.

>> we'll be back in a moment. this is "today" on nbc.

>>> al and i are still nuzzling.

>> it's good. my favorite canoe ride of all time.

>> kathie lee and hoda welcome