Household appliances make our lives easier every day. However, every machine that operates on electricity or gas presents safety risks and should be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Below are essential appliance fire safety tips to help you prevent disasters in your home:
General Appliance Fire Safety Tips
- Keep appliances at a safe distance from wet areas, especially in the bathroom, kitchen, garage, or basement.
- Keep potentially flammable items, such as furniture, clothes, or curtains, away from heaters or appliances that produce heat.
- If an appliance or lamp sputters, produces a spark, or gives you a shock when running, have it repaired as soon as possible.
- Never force an appliance with a three-prong plug into a two-prong outlet or extension cord.
- Never run cords under carpets or rugs, as this can damage the wires and cause a fire.
- Check the wires of appliances regularly. Replace or repair frayed, damaged cables.
- DO NOT plug too many plugs into a power outlet; plug only one wattage appliance into an outlet at a time.
- Unplug all small electrical appliances, such as irons, toasters, hairdryers, and shavers when not in use.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home. Test the alarms once a month and replace batteries each year.
- Properly ground clothes dryers and keep the area around your dryer clear of things that can burn.
- Always use a lint filter when operating a dryer. Clean the lint from the screen before or after each use.
- Vent dryers directly outside using rigid or flexible metal venting materials. Make sure the air exhaust vent pipe is not restricted.
- Clean out the lint from the vent pipe 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
- Remove grease or other debris from the burner, stovetop, or oven. Never leave combustible items near ovens.
- Always supervise the range when cooking and turn it off when you have to leave the kitchen.
- Roll up your sleeves, tie back long hair, and wear non-slip when cooking.
- Before using the range, make sure it doesn’t smell of gas inside the oven or near it.
- Find out more oven range safety tips here and kitchen safety rules here.
- Always supervise the dishwasher when operating it. Don’t use the dishwasher when going to bed or before leaving the house.
- Avoid using extension cords as a permanent solution to power the dishwasher. Plug your dishwasher into a grounded wall socket.
- Check the plastic components that release the detergent on the interior of the door. 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.
- Keep heaters at least 3 feet away from flammable materials like paper, trash bins, furniture, drapes or carpet.
- Place heaters on a stable, horizontal surface (preferably on the floor) where it can’t be knocked over easily.
- Never use aluminum foil or metal in a microwave oven, as metal can start a fire. Use only microwave-safe food containers or dishes.
- Microwaves are not designed for drying or sterilizing baby bottles, clothes, or blankets.
- Clean the microwave, including the outer edge, from food debris, grease or stains regularly.
- To learn more microwave oven safety tips, click here.
Apartment Fire Safety Tips
- Be familiar with the fire protection system in your building. Each protection system depends on where and when the complex was built. Apartment complexes with a sprinkler system provide an additional way to extinguish fires at the right time. Moreover, most apartment buildings also have fire alarm pull stations for alerting other residents that there is a fire.
- Make sure to equip your apartment with smoke detectors. For increased safety, interconnect the alarms so that all alarms will sound if one is activated. The property owners may be responsible for the smoke alarms, but you should ensure your safety. Test the alarms once a month and check that they are not older than ten years. Remember: it is illegal to remove, damage, or disable a smoke alarm.
- All apartment complexes should have fire extinguishers. Learn where the fire extinguishers are, how to access them, how to use them, and when to use them. Never attempt to put out a fire with a fire extinguisher if that puts your life in danger or if you don’t know how to use one.
- Cooking is the number one cause of fires in homes. Never leave food unattended on the stove.
- Never store flammable substances, such as propane tanks or gas cans, in your apartment.
- Supervise space heaters and place them at least three feet away from flammable materials.
- Check electrical cords for appliances and replace those that are frayed or cracked.
- Keep matches and lighters out of the reach and sight of children.
- Don’t smoke in the bedroom or leave lit cigarettes unattended.
- Keep hallways clear — put away shoes, floor mats, and other items that can potentially trip and/or injure family members.
- Everyone in the family should be familiar with the building’s evacuation plan. Participate when your building drills take place.
- Learn the best escape routes — know how many levels the complex has, the nearest exits, and the location of staircases.
- Practice escaping through these routes. Stay low when moving to avoid breathing in smoke.
- If the escape routes are blocked by fire or smoke, practice sealing yourself in for safety. Close the door and stay by the window; use a flashlight or a light-colored cloth to signal firefighters.
- If you have small pets, purchase a carrier to be able to take them with you. If you have a dog, keep a leash at the ready.
Remember fire safety when using appliances and call the pros at PuroClean for fire restoration services
It is important to practice appliance fire safety to reduce the chances of a fire in your home. These tips can help save the lives of you and your loved ones, as well as prevent damage to your property. If you experience a house fire, call PuroClean for professional fire restoration services.