Fire Safety for Your Home Appliances
Fires are common in the home, with one out of every six Americans experiencing a fire each year.
While many home appliances come equipped with safety features, others do not. Consumers must read the manual for their appliance and be aware of any specific safety features that it has before purchasing the product.
Why Home Appliances are Particularly Suitable for a Fire?
Home appliances are particularly suitable for a fire because of their sensitive materials.
Home appliances are made of highly flammable materials. This means that the fire can spread quickly and easily if it starts in one room.
With that said, there are a number of general safety features that you should check on all of your appliances to ensure they're safe:
- Check the plug and make sure it's on a circuit without other appliances plugged in. This is to ensure that there is enough power for the appliance while it's running.
- Look for the UL approval seal which assures you that the appliance has been inspected by a certified independent testing lab and meets all safety standards.
- Check all cable connections and tighten if needed. This ensures that there are no problems with circuitry in the appliance, which could lead to a fire hazard.
And, there are also some specific tips when it comes to individual appliances:
Refrigerators are a common source of fires in the home.
It is important to follow a few safety precautions when using the refrigerator. The following are some of the important ones:
- One of the best ways to make sure you don't start a fire is to keep your refrigerator door closed when it's not in use.
- Keep any flammable materials away from the appliance.
- Never store items that give off fumes, such as nail polish remover, near your fridge.
- Keep children and pets away from an open fridge door that doesn't have a child lock on it, and do not place anything that might tempt them next to the door handle.
- Check your kitchen for any loose wires that could become a fire hazard.
The Washing Machine and Dryer
We cannot forget about safety when using the washing machine and dryer. You need to make sure that both machines are installed in a safe place. You should carefully follow the installation instructions and keep a watchful eye out for any signs of leaks or spills around either one of them.
Since electricity and water are involved in the process, it is important to know what can happen if something goes wrong with either. Many factors can cause a fire or other injury if not careful, so here are some helpful tips for safe usage:
- The fire safety rule is to make sure that there are no combustible materials nearby.
- The laundry room is filled with flammable substances like fabric softener, dryer sheets, and detergent. This is why a fire extinguisher should be placed in the laundry room for protection.
- Always make sure that the laundry room has proper ventilation because detergents can produce harmful gases when mixed with hot water and air. You should also make sure that you don’t overload the washer by using too much laundry soap or fabric softener. Overloading can lead to a buildup of excess heat which can cause a fire.
- Try to avoid using a gas-powered dryer as much as possible.
- Make sure you clean up the area surrounding your washing machine before use and always take care of small or medium-sized clothes separately from big ones like sheets and blankets.
Here are some of the best precautions to take:
- When microwaving, you should always make sure that you're in a well-ventilated area and that the microwave is at least six inches away from any other object.
- If you are cooking anything besides plain, frozen food, then make sure to cover your dish with a lid or paper towel. Also, avoid using plastic containers as they can release chemicals into your food when heated.
- Microwaves can emit radiation so don't stand right next to them and keep some distance between the oven and yourself while cooking.
- Microwaves can actually create sparks and cause some fires, which becomes a serious problem if you are using metal containers for your food. Ergo, you should only be placing microwaveable items inside.
- One of the most important safety measures for microwave ovens is to make sure they are turned off when not in use. Microwaves release strong electromagnetic waves that can easily cause a fire if precautions aren't taken.
You have to be aware of the potential fire hazards associated with using a dishwasher. For instance, you have to be careful of the risk of electrical shock if water leaks into any electrical parts or connections.
With that in mind, here are some steps for maintaining fire safety while using this important kitchen appliance:
- Keep an eye on the dishwasher to make sure it does not overheat or get too hot
- Clean up any spills right away
- If the power goes off, turn off the dishwasher and do not restart it until you are sure there is no leak or spill inside
- Do not put any combustible materials in the dishwasher.
- Make sure that when you're looking at buying a dishwasher from a store or online that it has an automatic shut-off system - this will help stop any potential burns when opening the door after it has finished running its cycle.
The bottom line is that fires can happen in any home. But, there are a few things that you can do to make it less likely for a fire to break out.
If you keep in mind some of the most common causes of house fires, you should be able to plan for them. Here are some of the things you need to look out for:
- Faulty electrical wiring and appliances that are not maintained or installed correctly,
- Lack of smoke detectors,
- Improper use or storage of flammable liquids and gases,
- House fires caused by cooking equipment, etc.
In the Event of a Fire
It is important to have a fire escape plan and a fire extinguisher handy in the event of a fire. Above all else, do not risk your life if a fire spreads rapidly. Prioritize your safety and evacuate, then call the Orlando Fire Department immediately. After the fire, you will need the assistance of a reputable restoration company to handle your fire damage cleanup. Call SERVPRO of University, SE Orlando at (407) 678-5391 for the experts in fire damage restoration, smoke and soot cleanup, and even working with your insurance company!