As you might already know, thousands of home fires each year start with kitchen appliances. What you may not know is that many of these fires are caused by human error, not an appliances’ wiring or electronic components.
Let’s dig deeper to discover what kind of appliances are responsible for causing the most fires without human error and a few tips to keep your home safe.
House Fires Caused by Appliances
Cooking Ranges – Even after controlling for human error, stoves and ovens cause a lot of fires. In many situations, it’s difficult even for investigators to determine whether a fire began due to human error or an electrical/mechanical problem inside the stove. You also might be surprised to learn that electric ranges cause more fires than gas ranges. Regardless of the range, it is not recommend to use it for storing unused pots or pans and do not leave a range unattended while in use.
Clothes Washers and Dryers – It’s no secret that clogged lint traps cause dryer fires. Clothes washers and dryers cause an estimated 16,000 fires each year and most dryer fires ignite when the lint trap isn’t cleaned frequently enough. That being said, the heating element in your dryer and the moving parts inside your washing machine’s drum can catch fire through no fault of your own. For this reason, we always recommend following the manufacturer’s instructions and do not overload either of these appliances.
Dishwashers – Dishwashers are the second most common source of a kitchen fire caused by non-cooking appliances. Dishwashers combine electronics and heating elements with water, which is the perfect environment for electric fires to begin. We suggest you avoid turning on your dishwasher before leaving your home to avoid the risk of faulty elements starting a fire.
Portable Cookers/Warmers – Small cooking appliances like chafing dishes and slow cookers are also a relatively common cause of cooking equipment-related fires. While newer models have safety features like automatic timers – older ones don’t. Therefore, if you have a hand-me-down slow cooker, don’t allow it to operate overnight, or when nobody’s home. Always unplug small appliances when they are not in use – but especially those with heating elements.
Refrigerators – You may be surprised to learn that – ta da! – refrigerators are the most common fire-causing appliance in the United States. There is virtually no opportunity for human error when it comes to refrigerator operation. Refrigerators run day and night, automatically cycling on and off for many years. Over time, various parts can wear out, including relay switches and compressors which are the primary causes of refrigerators igniting.
Appliance Safety Tips to Avoid Appliance-Related Fires
When you buy a new appliance do you go through the bag of notices and manuals that come with it? Reading the user manual and completing the registration for all of your appliances is an important but often-overlooked task. Registering your new appliances is how manufacturers can contact you should the appliance be subject to a safety recall which can keep you and your home safe.
Avoid running an appliance, such as the dishwasher, washing machine, or dryer when you’re not home and unplug smaller appliances when they are not in use.
Lastly, inspect power cords for damage and keep all appliances clean.
How to Find Help for Fire Recovery
The experts at Electronic Restoration Services can restore fire-damaged appliances for an average of 60 percent less than the cost of replacing an appliance. ERS restores all kinds of household appliances, and we stand behind our work by providing a one-year warranty on most equipment we restore.