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Smart Appliance Safety Tips to Keep Your Family Safe

Accidents in the home are one of the most frightening experiences a family can endure. Many times, the cause of such accidents are appliances that we all use on a daily basis. If they are mishandled, or built defectively, people can get hurt.

In order to prevent appliance accidents in your home, take a look at these 5 safety tips:

  1. No metal in microwaves: The first rule of using a microwave oven should be to never put any metal inside of it. The electromagnetic radiation a microwave uses to cook food bounces off metal surfaces and can quickly damage the interior of the oven, causing sparks and short circuits; this is the same reason why you should never use an empty microwave oven, as the radiation has nowhere to go except back into the appliance’s circuitry. Metal in a microwave can also become incredibly hot so if you do accidentally leave a fork in there for a few seconds, do not touch it without protection or allowing it to cool a considerable amount of time.
  2. Refrigerator dolly: Moving into a new place can be a real hassle, especially when it comes time to relocate that refrigerator. You should never attempt to move a fridge without a refrigerator dolly, or a heavy-duty appliance dolly. These handy tools are specifically designed to help move around fridges and other large appliances with minimal risk to the mover. When using a refrigerator dolly and traversing steps or stairs, ensure no one is ever downstairs from the fridge. If you do not have such a dolly, you may need to hire professional movers to do it for you.
  3. Dryer lint traps: Doing your laundry might seem like a pretty mundane task but it can actually be quite dangerous if done incorrectly. In particular, the lint trap on your dryer must be emptied before and after each laundry load to ensure it does not fill up. A full or clogged lint trap can overheat the machine, causing it to burst into flames and resulting in serious property damage.
  4. Vacuum cord: Full-sized vacuums are often accompanied by a long extension cord that lets you move it around the house without having to frequently switch outlets. While this is certainly convenient, it can pose a danger if you are not paying attention. Never run over any electrical wiring with your vacuum cleaner, including the vacuum’s own cord. If you do, it could fray the wire or short the appliance, causing an electrical fire in your home.
  5. Gas oven and stove safety: The misuse of gas oven ranges can cause catastrophic fires and explosions without much warning. If a stovetop will not light, do not continue feeding gas to the pilot light; turn off all ranges, open multiple windows, and wait before attempting to use it again or relight the pilot. Ensure your oven is completely shut off after using it. Many ovens have a broiler option next to the OFF selection, which can easily be mistaken for one another.

Of course, for all the accidents caused by owner mistakes, there could be many more caused by defective appliances. If you were hurt while using an appliance in your home, an investigation could determine that the product manufacturer is to blame.

Call 866-675-4427 to schedule a free consultation with our Stuart product liability attorneys at Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC for more information.