Appliances are in almost every area of our homes, yet there are potential safety hazards that we do not often recognize. Many of these potential safety hazards involve things we can do ourselves, as opposed to hiring someone to do an inspection.
Here is a general overview of some things you can do to keep your home safe from potential safety hazards related to appliances:
Refrigerators are such common appliances, that they are often overlooked. Safety hazards related to refrigerators include fire, food-borne illness, and tipping. Things you can do to take proper care of your refrigerator and the area surrounding it are: keep an eye out for lint and dust that accumulates behind and under refrigerators and clean it periodically. Also, look out for any exposed wires, which could have become exposed from anything rolling over the cord and do not allow children to hang on refrigerator doors, which could cause the appliance to topple on top of a child and cause serious injury.
Dryers also pose potential safety hazards, such as the risk of fire, carbon monoxide poisoning, and gas leaks. Dust and lint also collect behind, under and around dryers and this should be cleaned periodically. Everyone should regularly clean collected dust and lint in vents and filters, as well as surrounding the dryer. Loose hoses, seals, and connections can lead to gas and carbon monoxide leaks. If your dryer uses gas to operate, stay alert for any gas smells when you open the door to the dryer or while the dryer is running. The dryer lint screen should be cleaned after every use and a thorough cleaning of the vents and duct system should be conducted twice per year. Chemicals, rags, loose papers, and other flammable items should all be kept away from electric dryers.
Water heaters pose potential hazards, such as carbon monoxide poisoning, gas leaks, explosion, and fire. Practically every hot water heater risk is related to poor venting or an excessive buildup of pressure. Poorly connected vents can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning and natural gas leaks. Water heaters have pressure/temperature relief valves to help prevent an explosion. Ensure that vents are securely fixed, make sure gas safety checks are performed, and examine the smell for the scent of gas. The test relief valve should be tested once per year, to stay safe from excessive temperature and pressure.
Other potential safety hazards involving appliances include the microwave (possible radiation exposure and electrical hazards), toasters, and stoves. A regular inspection of the surroundings and connections, as well as proper maintenance should be done to ensure your safety and the safety of your family and pets.