Fire safety is always something that should be front of mind when it comes to our homes. However, it can be difficult for the layman to identify exactly what things they should be looking out for.
Appliances cause most household fires. Some electrical, some not – but they’re the primary culprits if you’re looking to prevent a fire. Here are some of the appliances that you should keep a careful eye on if you want to prevent a fire in your home.
This seems almost silly for an appliance that uses so much water, but you’d be surprised. Have you ever opened your dishwasher immediately after it’s done? It’s hot and uses strong heating elements to dry your dishes. Those heating elements can get wet, heat up and cool down anytime you use your dishwasher. If the elements are old or faulty, they can start a fire. No matter what you do, don’t leave a dishwasher and leave your home because you just don’t know. While having clean dishes when you come home is nice to have, it’s not worth risking it. Stay home when washing your dishes and get someone to come in and do a maintenance inspection at least once a year.
Simply put – keep your lint trap clean. In fact, it should be part of your normal dryer emptying process. If left unattended, it can start a fire. Dryers are the #1 cause of basement fires, so be sure to stay on this. In addition, try to keep dry clothes and other potentially flammable things away from the dryer. Sometimes people like to throw clothes right on top of the dryer while they’re waiting to change loads over or are done with one and are short on basket space. We recommend you don’t do this. Keep the dryer fairly clear of everything else and make sure that lint basket is clean!
Microwaves sure are convenient, but they can be very dangerous if you’re not careful. Microwaves are built on quick convenience, so there’s really no excuse for not hanging around while your food heats up.
Always be sure to check containers (especially Tupperware) to see what can and can’t go in the microwave. Not only could it potentially cause a fire hazard, but could also melt/ruin food as well. Never use metal or any kind of metallic material inside a microwave.
If you thought dishwashers seemed oxymoronic, then wait until you get a load of this. In older fridges you should always be aware of an overheated compressor or an electrical short that can cause a fire. While refrigerators are known for being cold, the backs of them tend to heat up and malfunction and when they do they can start an electrical fire that could spread quickly.
Just like dishwashers, it’s not a bad idea to have someone come and do a routine maintenance check once a year to make sure everything’s in good, working condition. Refrigerators spend a lot of time with the business end of the machine facing a wall and a very confined space. And while the space is limited, the room for error is not. Rodents, overheating, insects, mold, moisture – any one of a dozen things can harm them. Just get them checked every year to be safe.
If you want the #1 culprit when it comes to small fires, turned big – it’s toasters. When a toaster fails and doesn’t turn off – a fire can start. The hard thing about your toaster is that it isn’t necessarily up to the toaster as to what dictates the risk of fire – it’s how wide you cut half a bagel, how big the piece of toast is – or as simple as an eggo waffle getting caught up on an edge. Toasters should never be left unattended. Also – it’s worth it to give your toaster the occasional upside down dump into the trash can so as to empty out any remaining crumbs that could turn into potential fire hazards. Toasters are great, but they’re dangerous –so be careful!
Do you have any appliances you think we missed? Please leave them in the space below and we’d be happy to answer any questions.