Appliance Safety Tips: Prevent Appliance Fires

mug in a microwaveOur modern life is not complete without appliances: cooking, cleaning and washing are just a few things that would take much longer if we didn’t have stoves, vacuum cleaners and washing machines.

We have these handy gadgets almost in every room, which is very convenient, but also dangerous. Appliance fires are not uncommon and can be devastating. Discount Appliance Repair is here today to talk about appliance safety and fire prevention.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that major appliances are the reason behind more than 150,000 residential fires each year. So, what causes appliance fires?

Overheating is often the reason why an appliance catches on fire. Overheating can happen both internally (inside an appliance) and externally (at the outlet or from electrical cord).

Flammable objects placed next to appliances, especially the ones that generate a lot of heat, such as a stove or a furnace, can easily catch on fire.

Appliance misuse or human error can often lead to a fire. Leaving a stove unattended or drying items not intended to be placed in a dryer are just a few examples.

Manufacturing defects are sometimes to blame. Millions of appliances are being recalled every year – some as a preventive measure, but many in a response to consumer complaints about spontaneous ignition or other issues.

Protect the cord

While installing an appliance, make sure the cord is reaching the outlet with as few bends and twists as possible. When a part of the cord is lying on the floor it can easily get caught under large pieces of furniture or chewed up by your pets. Additionally, don’t place cords in the areas where they will be stepped on or next to heat or water sources. Check the cords regularly to make sure they are in a good condition.

Don’t overload the outlet

First of all, don’t plug an appliance into an extension cord if it’s specifically says in the manual to plug in the wall. Second of all, if you are using an extension, choose the one with appropriate power capacity and don’t overload it. When too many appliances are plugged in the same extension cord it can overheat.

Follow the manual

It’s crucial to follow the product manual, because if you don’t you not only risk breaking your appliance or setting it on fire, but most likely void the warranty as well. If the manual says not to place metal objects in the microwave then there’s probably a reason for it. Additionally, never use appliances other than intended. For example, lighting up burners on your stove just to keep your home warm in winter is not safe. Similarly, don’t use appliances designed for indoors outdoor and vice versa.

Clean and maintain

When an appliance is clean and well-maintained there is less likelihood that it catches on fire. Moreover, while you are cleaning you have a chance to examine an appliance – keep an eye out for loose parts, odd noises or suspiciously hot elements. Early detection of damaged cord insulation or a clogged dryer vent can save your life. For appliances that require professional maintenance and repair, such as air conditioning units, you can always rely on our specialists in appliance repair in Va. By performing DIY repairs you risk damaging your appliance to the point that it’s not safe to use.

Register new appliances

When you buy new appliances, register them with manufacturer, so that you receive any important products updates, such as recall notices. For older appliances there is still a way to check whether they’ve been recently recalled or received a lot of consumer complaints. Be proactive – you don’t want to wait until that microwave blows up.

Don’t leave appliances unattended for a long time

Of course, you can’t guard your refrigerator 24/7 but it’s possible to somewhat oversee your household appliances.

-    Don’t leave items you are cooking without supervision. Forgetting a kettle on the stove is a common offense.

-    Turn off unneeded appliances while you are asleep or away (even better – unplug them). Sleeping with a heater on is very dangerous.

-    Supervise your laundry. Your washer or dryer can go haywire any minute and it can turn into a disaster. Washers are known to leak and dryer timers frequently malfunction causing the appliance to run non-stop. If you are not home when this happens, be prepared for the worst.

These are just some of the tips that apply to all appliances. We’ll talk about specific appliance safety tips in our future posts. Meanwhile, just follow these steps to reduce the risk of appliance fires in your home or office. If you notice your appliance acting up, call us right away for appliance repair in Virginia. Our trained technicians will determine what’s wrong and fix your appliance before further damage occurs.