Clothes dryers can be a big fire hazard if they aren’t looked after properly. When dryers aren’t frequently cleaned, it can lead to lint buildup and clogged ducts. If your clothes seem like they’re taking a while to dry – or if they come out hotter than usual – check your pipes. It could save your life.
An extra three minutes can mean the difference between life and death when it comes to microwave cooking. Accidentally turning the dial and wandering out of the room can have disastrous consequences – so ensure that you don’t leave this appliance unattended. The National Fire Protection Association say that microwaves are the cause of four percent of cooking-related house fires each year.
Deep fryers cause five deaths, 60 injuries, and $15 million of damage each year. Many people use fryers to deep fry turkeys at Thanksgiving – a practice that the National Fire Prevention Agency has warned against. If you insist on using a fryer – especially for turkeys – ensure that the product is fully thawed, the fryer is isolated and manned, and that you wear protective clothing.
Although a staple of any household, toasters are considered inherently dangerous. The mix of heat and electricity can lead to disaster, including electrocution and fires. Regularly clean out your toaster per the manufacturer’s guide – including the crumb tray. Never stick anything in a toaster – especially if it can conduct electricity, and ensure you keep your toaster away from the sink or any water.
Obviously, you need a refrigerator – but this appliance comes with a slew of risks. Ensure that your fridge is placed on an even surface to avert it from tipping and prevent children from swinging from the handles. If you smell any toxic vapors coming from your fridge, call a professional technician.
Dishwashers are the perfect environment for pathogenic fungi to grow. Clinging to the black rubber sealant around your dishwasher, these black yeasts can cause health issues for anyone – including those in perfect health. These fungi can lead to lung and skin infections – so ensure you regularly give your dishwasher a deep clean.
If you haven’t properly been taught how to use a garbage disposal, you may be prone to injury. Beware of the unit’s sharp blades. Even if the appliance is turned off, it can still result in a trip to the emergency room. Ensure that you call out a professional repairer to deal with any appliance issues rather than trying to tackle them yourself.
Ovens are relatively safe – it’s dirty ovens you have to be wary of. Any food trapped at the bottom of your oven will continue to cook every single time you switch your oven on. These spills can begin to smoke, emitting harmful gases such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and carbon monoxide. Clean your oven, your health will thank you for it.
Gas stoves emit a hefty amount of emissions, both while in use and when they’re switched off. A 2022 study by researchers estimated that gas stoves are responsible for 13 percent of childhood asthma cases in the US. Measures are underway to regulate the hazardous gases released by the appliance, though it’s thought to be a lengthy process.
Your washing machine is more dangerous than you may think. A 2016 study found that 17.3 percent of fires from faulty appliances were due to washing machines. Old wiring, blocked drain pumps, motor malfunction, and overburdening your drum can all lead to deadly fires, so ensure you regularly give your machine a service once a year.
Cutting boards can pose a severe threat to your health if they aren’t effectively looked after. If you don’t properly clean and maintain your cutting board, it can hold harmful bacteria, spreading food poisoning to your entire family. Ensure that they’re deeply washed and cleaned before and after each use.
Air purifiers are heralded as freshening the air inside of your home, helping you to breathe in less harmful chemicals. However, some users have reported side effects such as chest pain, throat irritation, and shortness of breath, claiming it can worsen asthma symptoms. Furthermore, while fire-related incidents with air purifiers are rare, they occasionally do take place.
Electric blankets are the perfect solution to cold winter nights, heating up your bed in no time flat. While handy at keeping the cold at bay, these appliances have a darker side – they’re responsible for approximately 500 fires a year in the US, with high injuries. Studies have shown that 40% of electric blankets used by the public are unsafe.
Kitchen countertops can house high levels of bacteria and hidden growths of fungi, severely affecting your health. Countertops made from materials that absorb water – such as concrete and granite – pose a higher risk of granting bacterial-related illnesses. Ensure that you frequently do a deep clean of your worktops to reduce the risk of falling ill.
Lawnmowers should be treated with the utmost care. Around 80,000 lawnmower incidents happen in the United States each year, including burns from hot engines, missile injuries sustained from loose objects in the lawn, and wounds caused by the mower’s blades. Always ensure that you wear protective gear when mowing your lawn – it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Electric heaters may help keep your house warm in the cold winter months, but they’re a highly risky appliance that holds the potential for disaster. The high levels of heat they emit can cause nearby objects – such as curtains or bedding – to ignite, sending your house up in a blaze in mere seconds.
If you don’t regularly clean your fridge, the appliance can harbor high levels of bacteria, allowing germs to multiply to dangerous levels, housing salmonella, listeria, and e. Coli. Recent studies have shown that the salad drawer alone contains an average of 7,850 units of bacteria.
If phone chargers are plugged in overnight they can overheat, eventually breaking out into deadly fires. The risk of this occurring is heightened when the phone is left on a soft surface, or covered with a flammable item such as a blanket. To eliminate possible fatal consequences, it’s best to always keep an eye on your phone as it charges.
Vacuum cleaners are an essential appliance in every household. However, you should always avoid sucking up flammable or toxic materials when vacuuming your home. The appliance runs on electricity, so accidentally feeding it flammable items is highly likely to cause a fire. Make sure you survey the area before you vacuum it.
Smoke detectors can save lives – or end them. If they run out of charge, they will fail to notify you of a house fire, leading to potentially deadly consequences. Furthermore, you should never tamper with your smoke detector, as it could damage the casing around its radioactive source.
While making your next smoothie, be sure to take extra care when operating your blender. Blenders can explode if they’re not used correctly, causing serious bodily harm. Reasons for shattering blenders include overheating, an unclosed lid, too much food placed inside, and electrical wiring faults.
Pressure cookers can cause an array of physical injuries, caused by steam burns, spilled hot liquids, explosions, and contact burns. Ensure that your pressure cooker is adequately ventilated, as failure to do so can result in increased levels of pressure inside the appliance, leading to an explosion.
Wires are all over our homes, providing us with electricity, attached to almost all of our electronic appliances. Ensure that wires aren’t bent out of shape and that their casing is still intact. Failure to do so could result in a fire that was easily preventable.
While they may bring an added sense of pizzazz to your garden, outdoor lights also bring a hefty dose of safety risks. Lights need to be installed far away from any flammable materials and should be regularly checked for any wear and tear. Exposed light bulbs can allow rainwater inside, potentially causing your electricity to short circuit, a fire, or an explosion.
Scientists have warned that electric kettles come with their own health risks, potentially leading to an increased risk of lung cancer due to the inhalation of nickel compounds. Furthermore, faulty kettles can run the risk of leaking boiling water, leading to third-degree burns. Always do routine checks to ensure your kettle is in good working order.
The average American drinks two to three cups of coffee per day, making coffee machines almost as important as our ovens. Approximately 22 consumers report smoke or fire emitting from their machine each year, meaning you should never leave a coffee machine operating without supervision, and you should routinely check for faulty wiring.
Mixing electricity with water is always a dangerous combination, meaning that garden fountains should be handled with the utmost care and need to be frequently checked for any damage. A further concern with outdoor fountains is that they produce aerosols, adding a major risk of spreading Legionella bacteria through the water system.
While seemingly innocent, kitchen scales can pose a danger to small children. In 2021, a Smith & Noble kitchen scale was on recall due to a faulty battery cover, allowing young toddlers to easily access the small button battery, potentially serving as a choking hazard.
Always ensure that your oven grill is properly – and routinely – cleaned. Failure to do so can result in a devastating fire, usually caused by concealed traces of grease or fat left over from your last cooking session. It’s also best to use grills with the oven door open, preventing the build-up of carbon monoxide.
Statistics show that an average of 19,700 people went to emergency rooms each year due to injuries related to BBQs between 2014-2018. Always ensure that you open the lid before you attempt to light the BBQ. Furthermore, there’s also the risk of inhaling gas from damaged or loose propane hoses, posing a threat to your health.
Freezers pose a myriad of potential risks, including causing house fires, getting cold burns, damaging the lungs from breathing in low air temperatures, and potential head trauma from a falling lid. Furthermore, if you don’t properly freeze and defrost meat, it can lead to severe food poisoning.
All electronics come with a small degree of risk. Plug adaptors, however, are certainly a device you’re going to want to keep an eye on. These hazardous plugs are relatively heavy, leading to a strain being put on the pins. These pins can pull out of the socket, leading to poor connection, overheating, and fires.
Whenever you use an extension lead, ensure that the cable is fully unwired. Failure to do so could result in the wire getting overheated, leading to a potential fire. Damaged cables can also be a safety issue, caused by the cable continuously being bent in the same way, leading to dangerously exposed wires.
Lamps – particularly if they’re cheap and of poor quality – can lead to severe electrical faults. Light bulbs give off surprisingly high amounts of heat, so if your lamp malfunctions, it could lead to a house fire. Always ensure that any electronics you buy are endorsed by a safety marker.
You’ve likely heard of the fire risks of hair straighteners – left switched on and unattended, they can cause your house to go up in flames in no time. However, new research suggests that straighteners may hide darker risks. Studies claim that using hair straighteners can potentially lead to a higher risk of uterine cancer.
A faulty boiler can result in you and your family breathing in carbon monoxide, which can lead to death if not treated in time. Boilers also need frequent, professional servicing to ensure that everything is running as it should be, preventing house fires and potential explosions.
Aside from the obvious hazard of receiving severe burns from hot plates, the handy device also poses a spark hazard. Especially in older hot plates, the on-off switch or the thermostat may spark due to faulty wiring, with the potential of the spark causing a fire. To ensure your safety, frequently upgrade any outdated appliances.
It’s best to avoid unnecessary electronics in the kitchen, as they can easily catch on fire. Kitchen radios, or leaving an unattended phone charger plugged into a socket, also have the potential of mixing with nearby water, causing an electrical blaze. Ensure that electronics are positioned in order to minimize any unnecessary risks.
When you’re done with your hairdryer, ensure that the appliance is completely devoid of heat before you put it away. If the filter is blocked, putting the hairdryer away while it’s still warm can cause the blockage to ignite, potentially causing a deadly house fire.
Over time, layers of grease, fat, and dirt can build up on your extractor fan. Some traces of grease can even be found deep inside the fan, potentially causing a fire within the ductwork – fires that are incredibly hard to put out. To prevent potential deadly consequences, ensure that you frequently clean your extractor fan.