Not To Make You Nervous, But These Appliances Can Catch Fire
I'm trying my best to not be a worry wart as a home owner. So I figured, what can stop that? Education! Maybe if I educate myself on what can go wrong, I can look out for the signs and prevent stuff from happening! Doing the research for this blog, though - I did find some stuff I wasn't expecting.
Here's something to worry about . . . your stove might TURN ITSELF ON at any moment and START A FIRE. It happens 2,000 times a year in the U.S. Here's a list of the six appliances most likely to start a fire.
1. The stove top. The National Fire Incident Reporting System shows that ranges in U.S. kitchens started almost 17,000 fires between 2002 and 2009. Some newer electric stoves have a thermostat, so they can switch on and off to maintain a steady temperature. If they malfunction, they can switch on for no reason. And gas ovens might have problems with delayed ignition.
2. The dryer. Lint buildup caused almost 9,000 dryer fires between 2002 and 2009. If you didn't know, lint is REALLY flammable. Clean out your lint filter before each load, and install a carbon monoxide detector near the dryer if it uses gas.
3. The microwave. Accidents with microwaves are much less common . . . only about 1,700 over the eight-year period. Sometimes a microwave can malfunction and turn itself on. So if you see an unusual error message, unplug it and get it fixed right away. All this time, I thought Jungkook was crazy. Turns out he has a justified fear of the microwave blowing up.
4. The fridge. There were only 1,500 refrigerator fires in eight years, generally from short circuits or overheating. Or sometimes the light stays on when the door is shut. So just press the switch inside the door once in a while to make sure it's working.
5. The dishwasher. About a thousand fires in eight years. Sometimes a circuit board or heating element will catch fire. Or liquid rinse aids can leak into the circuitry, if there's a crack in the dispenser.
6. The toaster. Toasters have caused about 900 fires in that eight-year period. Faulty units might turn themselves on, or a mechanism might get jammed during toasting. The most important thing is not to toast anything that doesn't fit in the slot. Well, and don't let too many crumbs stay in there. I learned that the hard way. The kitchen smelled like smoke for the whole weekend. There actually isn't a lot to be nervous about, because these types of fires are VERY rare. There were fewer than 70,000 incidents in eight years . . . compared to hundreds of millions of appliances sold.
So, just keep it mind and hopefully you can keep things in check. And in my case, I'm going to keep my home insurance current, just to be on the safe side.