Most Common Kitchen Appliance Hazards That We Ignore
The kitchen is often referred to as one of the most useful, yet most dangerous, rooms in your home. We are all aware of the common hazards that can occur in the kitchen if one isn’t careful. From cutting your hand, to slipping on spilt liquids, to burns and so much more. When it comes to appliances, however, hazards aren’t so obvious. While appliances are created to facilitate your way of life, it’s best to remember that these appliances deal with elements such as fire, water, and electricity. Though appliances are normally reliable when it comes to safety, proper knowledge and maintenance is key to avoiding possible hazards.
Let’s take the fridge for example. Without maintenance, your fridge can easily malfunction and cause problems. But what causes safety hazards? And what are these hazards exactly?
Well, some issues that may arise without proper care you are putting yourself at risk of catching foodborne illnesses. Where you place your food in the fridge significantly affects its longevity. For example, placing eggs in the door shelves causes them to spoil quickly. They should always be at the back of the fridge, where the temperature is at its coldest.
Another way to fall sick is by not cleaning out your fridge frequently. How often you clean your fridge (including your icebox) plays a big factor. Sometimes spoiled food isn’t evident. If you put other food next to spoiled food, everything will slowly but surely start to spoil. A great way to avoid this is by wiping your fridge down with disinfectants (or any liquid bacteria killing solution) every time you restock - ideally a weekly basis.
Speaking of adding food to your fridge, be sure not to overstuff the fridge either. Without cold air circulating as it should, bacteria may spread quickly. Another way to unintentionally spread bacteria is by not paying attention to the temperature in your fridge. Microbes thrive in temperatures above 40°F, so it is important to keep the fridge temperature between 32° and 40°F and the freezer temperature below 0°F.
Other problems caused by fridges include fire and tipping. These are uncommon occurrences, but they do happen. Keep an eye out for lint-build up around or behind the fridge, as well as any weird noises. Exposed electrical wires can present an electrical fire hazard (especially if there’s liquid spillage in the area). The tipping is even more so infrequent, but children hanging on open fridge doors can cause that situation to occur. In such cases, an anti-tip appliance bracket may solve the problem.
There are so many ways a fridge can become hazardous, so prevention is key.
The next kitchen appliance to be wary about are stoves. Extremely functional, this particular type of device can cause massive havoc if not taken care of properly.
The biggest hazard with stoves is that they can cause bodily harm, as well as fires. Forgetting to turn the stove off after cooking or leaving it unattended are surefire ways to put yourself or your home in a dangerous situation. Another way to provoke fire is by wearing loose fitted clothing, low-hanging jewelry, slippery footwear, or leaving long hair untied near a burning coil. Leaving the handles of your pots and pans on the outer side can cause spilling and even burns. So make sure those handles are facing to the side, and away from foot traffic, or try to use the back burners as often as possible.
However, some people aren’t aware that if your pot or pan is empty and is sitting on top of a stove burner - that’s also a potential fire hazard. Another threat is related to drop-in stoves. If this appliance isn’t properly secured, it can potentially tip over. Not cleaning your stove is another potential hazard. Food particles and grease residue can ignite and cause a fire.
A great way to prevent these situations, especially ones that aren’t fully under your control is to continuously maintain your stove, as well as keep an eye out for any error codes that appear.
The last on our list of kitchen appliance hazards is the oven. Apart from the obvious malpractices, such as leaving food in the oven unattended, there are many other things we may do unconsciously, that could prove risky.
The biggest problem is failing to properly clean out the oven. If you don’t clean it after each use, or do not clean it well, it can easily lead to fires while cooking. Another thing people do is using the oven as storage. This is never a good idea and only leaves room for hazards.
Another mistake you may be mistaking is standing too close to the oven or leaving the oven door open too long when it is running. The heat is too strong, and thus can negatively affect your body. So you should always close the door immediately after removing or even testing food. Lastly, placing foods (or even the racks themselves) near the heat source can lead to scalding, as well as fires - so remember to position your racks accordingly before preheating the oven.
Oven hazards are actually quite similar to the stove hazards. By paying attention to your appliance, keeping an eye out for oven error codes, any unfamiliar sounds, as well as continuing its proper maintenance will prevent any hazardous situations from occurring.
If you find yourself looking for a professional to diagnose or maintain your appliance, look no further than our experts at Capital Appliance Repair. Accredited by the likes of HomeStars and TrustedPros, and many others, our family-owned and operated appliance repair team are available for 24-hour appliance repair appointments. We have the knowledge, skillset and tools to help upkeep all major household appliances. In addition, we can easily provide you with detailed instructions on how to continue maintaining your appliance. So give us a call at (613) 454-1577 today.