Kitchens are one of the most hazardous rooms in our homes. Kitchen fires account for almost half of all fires in the United States. On top of the dangers of cooking and appliances, kitchen fires are quite costly. They account for over $1 billion in property damage each year.
It’s important to be aware of the dangers of kitchen appliances and know-how to keep you and your family safe. Here are some information and tips on kitchen appliance fire hazards.
Whether your stove is an electric coil, glass top, or has gas burners, cooking ranges are the most dangerous appliance in your home. Always keep your unit clean and free of grease and debris which could potentially catch fire.
Avoid overheating food in your microwave oven. Do not ever put metal inside your microwave because this could lead to a fire. Always clean your microwave after use to cut down on grease and other food debris left behind.
Make it a part of your normal cleaning routine to clear away dust, pet hair, and other debris away from your refrigerator. There are typically fans at the bottom of the unit that can become overheated due to a buildup of dust.
Be sure to always monitor cook times to avoid overheating when using toasters and other kitchen appliances. Unplug small appliances after use and if necessary, let them cool before you put the appliance away.
While you can leave slow cookers unattended, be sure to keep the appliance away from a wall and keep it on a heatproof surface. You do not want to leave a slow cooker on, for example, a wooden table all day long unattended.
Check each appliance you own to see if it is certified by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory Program. If you have appliances that aren’t certified, you should them with a safety-approved appliance.
Dishwasher uses both electric and water so you’ll especially want to be sure it’s installed correctly to avoid electric shock and other damage. Always have a professional handle dishwasher installation for you.
Any outlet that is near water needs to be GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) protected to avoid overheating that could potentially lead to a fire. In addition to your kitchen, GFCI outlets should be installed in bathrooms, laundry rooms, and anywhere else where water is present.
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