Everyone knows you need to be careful around a hot stove, but did you know that there are several other home appliances that cause thousands of house fires every year? The September issue of Consumer Reports magazine has a list of the 6 most dangerous ones:
Burners that turn on by themselves and delayed ignition on a gas oven’s bake and broil functions are the leading contributors to a range fire.
Number of Fires: 16,824
Safety Tip: Look for any unusual error messages on the range’s digital display. Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling, or broiling food and be sure to keep flammable items, including oven mitts, away from the cooktop. Kids should be kept at least 3 feet from the cooking area.
Lint buildup and blockages and gas leaks on dryers that run on gas can cause fires.
Number of Fires: 8,717
Safety Tip: Don’t run dryers when asleep or when no one is home. Clean out the lint filter before each load and check vents annually for clogs. If using a gas dryer, install a carbon monoxide alarm near the laundry room to warn of leaks, which are poisonous.
Units that turn on by themselves and glass doors that shatter unexpectedly can lead to a potential fire. Some microwave fire victims said that the panel flashed the code “PAN” or “F2” as self-starting began.
Number of Fires: 1,705
Safety Tip: Don’t store food or other items in the microwave. Look for unusual error messages on digital display panels and if the unit goes on by itself, try to turn it off. Know where it’s plugged in and which circuit breaker controls it in case it won’t turn off using the microwave’s controls.
Fires can be caused by electronic components that short-circuit, control boards that overheat, or by light bulbs that stay on when the door is shut.
Number of Fires: 1,514
Safety Tip: Be aware of unusual error messages on fridges with digital displays. Check that the lightbulb goes off when the fridge is closed by pressing the switch, which is usually inside where the door closes.
Fires can be caused by circuit boards and heating elements catching fire, and liquid rinse aids that can leak into circuitry, creating a fire hazard.
Number of Fires: 1,015
Safety Tip: Don’t run a dishwasher when asleep or when no one is home. If the rinse-aid dispenser needs constant refilling, call for a repair. Know which circuit breaker cuts power to the unit in case it starts smoking or goes up in flames.
Toasters And Toaster Ovens:
Two potential fire hazards are units that turn themselves on and mechanism jams while toasting.
Number of Fires: 902
Safety Tip: Unplug toasters when not in use and inspect them for any frayed power cords. Don’t toast anything that doesn’t easily fit into the slot.