Tips to Prevent Appliance Fires
We rely on household appliances to make our lives easier on a daily basis. Nonetheless, every machine that operates on electricity or gas presents safety risks and should be used with caution. Below are essential appliance fire safety tips to help homeowners prevent disasters in their home:
General Safety Tips
- Appliances should be kept at a safe distance from wet areas, especially the bathroom, kitchen, garage or basement.
- Potentially flammable items, such as furniture, clothes or curtains, must be kept away from heaters or appliances that produce heat.
- If an appliance or lamp sputters, produces a spark or gives a shock when running, it should be repaired as soon as possible.
- An appliance with a three-prong plug should never be forced into a two-prong outlet or extension cord.
- Cords should not be run under carpets or rugs, as this can damage the cords and cause a fire.
- Wires of appliances must be checked regularly for wear and damage.
- Only one wattage appliance should be plugged into an outlet at a time.
- All small electrical appliances, such as irons, toasters, hair dryers, and shavers should be unplugged when not in use.
- Smoke alarms must be installed on every level of the home. Alarms should be tested once a month and batteries replaced every year.
- Clothes dryers must be ground properly and the area around the dryer should be kept clear of things that can burn.
- When operating a dryer, using a lint filter is mandatory. The lint should be removed from the filter before or after each use.
- Dryers must be vented directly outside using rigid or flexible metal venting materials. The air exhaust vent pipe should not be restricted.
- Lint from the vent pipe should be cleaned once a year or more often if clothes are taking longer than normal to dry.
- More clothes dryer safety tips are available here.
Electric or Gas Ranges
- Grease or other debris should be removed from the burner, stove top or oven. Combustible items should be kept away ovens.
- The range should be supervised when cooking.
- Before using the range, it must not smell of gas inside the oven or near it.
- More oven and range safety tips can be found here.
- The dishwasher must always be supervised when operating and should not be running when going to bed or before leaving the house.
- Extension cords should not be used as a permanent solution to power the dishwasher.
- The plastic components that release the detergent on the interior of the door should be inspected regularly. If damaged, these components can cause water to leak over the machine’s internal wires, resulting in a fire.
- More dishwasher safety tips can be found here.
- Heaters should be kept at least 1 meter away from flammable materials like paper, trash bins, furniture, drapes or carpet.
- Heaters must be placed on a stable, horizontal surface (preferably on the floor) where they can’t be knocked over easily.
- Here are more electric heater safety guidelines.
- Using aluminum foil or metal in a microwave oven should be avoided, as metal can start a fire. Only microwave-safe food containers or dishes ought to be used.
- Microwaves are not designed for drying or sterilizing baby bottles, clothes or blankets.
- Food debris, grease or stains should be removed from the microwave regularly.
- Additional microwave oven safety tips are available here.
In case of a home fire, here’s an overview on how deal with the ensuing fire damage. This page provides information on what questions to ask the insurance agent after a home fire. The PuroClean team stands ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mould damage.
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