House fires impact 350,000 American homes each year, according to the National Fire Protection Organization. A majority of these fires are due to faulty electrical wiring.

Still, there are common household items that are highly flammable. If exposed to high heat or an open flame, they can cause your house to catch fire in a matter of moments. Be aware of these four hidden fire starters.

Moth Balls 

Why are moth balls flammable? Because they’re made from a chemical called naphthalene, which is used in explosives, warns online home improvement resource,

Moth ball fires are rare, in part, because they’re not very widely used. If you use moth balls, avoid placing them near open flames, like a wood-burning fireplace.

Hand Sanitizer

In light of the pandemic hand sanitizer has become a staple of many households. The active ingredient in hand sanitizer, ethyl alcohol, is highly flammable. If you’ve stocked-up on sanitizer in your home, be sure not to store it—even temporarily—close to an open flame, like that of an open-flame furnace, or a wood-burning fireplace.

If you’re a smoker, be leery of carrying lighters and bottles of hand sanitizer together in a pocket, or purse. Store them separately.


Aerosols are ubiquitous in modern households. They include cooking sprays, cleansers, hairsprays, body sprays, bug repellants, and fragrances. Because the contents of aerosol containers are under pressure, they can explode when exposed to extreme heat.

Aerosols can also contain flammable chemicals. So when storing your bottles it’s only wise not to place them near open flames.

Coffee Creamer   

Yes, coffee creamer. That powdered, nondairy creamer you enjoy in your morning cup of Joe contains a highly-flammable chemical known as sodium aluminosilicate, says So if you’re boiling water for your cup of instant coffee, make sure you keep your bottle of powdered creamer away from the stove’s open flame. A liquid creamer can help eliminate the risk of a fire.