Appliance Safety Tips to Protect Your Home and Family
Our appliances are an important part of our homes. We depend on them for almost every aspect of our daily household routine. However, if they are not properly maintained, repaired, or replaced when necessary, they can actually become a hazard to your home and family. Without proper care and maintenance, your clothes dryer, furnace, stove, and microwave are just a few of your household appliances that can quickly go from being a convenience to hazard. Following some simple appliance safety tips can prevent that from happening.
The Clothes Dryer
According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are over 13,000 home fires caused by clothes dryers every year. Many of these dryer fires are caused by a build-up of lint which goes beyond what you find in your lint filter. Even if you are vigilant about cleaning your lint filter, lint build-up can be lurking elsewhere. Some dryer lint and dust particles manage to escape the lint filter and can build up in the dryer vent or even in the dryer itself.
Because it’s not readily visible, cleaning the dryer vent is often overlooked. If the lint builds up to the point where the heat becomes trapped, it can lead to a dryer fire. The exhaust hose should be kept clean, straight, and unrestricted. A bent or kinked exhaust hose can trap lint, restricting airflow from the dryer to the vent and create the perfect conditions for a dryer fire. Regular dryer vent and dryer cleanouts as well as making sure your exhaust hose is in good condition can prevent lint build-up.
Another appliance safety tip is to be careful of what you put in your dryer, Clothes stained with paint or other chemicals should be washed a couple of times before putting them in the dryer. Any remaining chemical residue could be ignited from the dryer’s heat. Chemically stained clothes should be dried on low or air-dried. If a fire should start in the dryer, don’t open the door, as that will accelerate the fire. Call “911” and leave the house as quickly as possible.
Microwaves can significantly reduce the time spent in the kitchen over a hot stove. However, because it is so powerful, it should be used with caution. The microwave heats food very quickly, often without any visible evidence of how hot it is. Be careful not to overheat food and use potholders or oven mitts when removing food from the microwave. This appliance safety tip can help prevent you from getting burned or scalded.
Make sure the containers you are heating the food in are microwave safe. Metal pots and pans can damage your microwave. If you notice that certain containers become extremely hot when used in the microwave, you should discontinue using them in the appliance.
Keeping your stove clean is more than just a matter of cleanliness. A dirty stove can be a fire hazard. Grease and debris build-up can be ignited when the stove is turned on. Cleaning your stovetop every time you cook and your oven regularly is an important part of appliance safety. In addition to using potholders and oven mitts, make sure long hair is tied back, any loose clothing is tucked in, and all pot and pan handles are turned inward to prevent personal injury.
Powering up Your Appliances
Appliance safety starts when your appliances are installed. Although installing some appliances are just a matter of plugging them in, others such as a gas stove or dryer will require professional installation. Check appliance cords for cracks or other damage and don’t use the appliance if you find any. Plug appliances directly into the wall rather than a power strip, preferably a GFCI outlet if it is available. Keep small appliances away from water. If an appliance should fall into water, never try to retrieve it without first turning off the power at the breaker. If you’re not sure which is the correct breaker, turn the main off to prevent the possibility of electrocution. It is best to unplug small appliances when not in use.
Practicing Appliance Safety
Appliance safety should be practiced all year long. However, since October is National Fire Safety Month, it’s the perfect time to schedule dryer vent cleaning, check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as well to take care of any other appliance maintenance you might need. Jersey Coast Appliance has a team of professional appliance service technicians, master technicians, and certified support personnel dedicated to serving our customers with honesty and integrity.
We are the one-stop-shop for purchasing and maintaining your household appliances. We carry most major brands and have a wide variety of replacement parts in stock, including Kenmore replacement parts. In addition to our regular repair service, we also offer Night Owl Service and 24/7 Emergency service. To protect yourself from a potential dryer fire, schedule professional appliance maintenance today.