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Home Appliance Safety Tips
Written by Elizabeth Wood
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement

Major household appliances require regular maintenance to ensure safety and proper function. Some maintenance can be done alone and others require the service of a professional. Proper maintenance will ensure years of reliability and efficiency. Not to mention, a safer environment.

Checking up on electrical aspects including extension cords, circuit breakers, and fuses is the one of the most important elements of appliance maintenance. Improper cord connections can lead to fires, power failure, and damage to the appliance. It is important to make sure that they are secure. Also, make sure to pay attention to the size rating of an extension cord and plug configurations. To avoid serious damage, don't overload extension cords.

Depending on the age of your house, you will be dealing with a fuse box or a circuit breaker. Often, if a circuit is overloaded, you will lose power to your appliance because the circuit will cut out. This may be do to an appliance failure, an outlet failure, or you may have blown a fuse. If a fuse has been blown, you can fix this by realigning the switch in a circuit breaker or replacing the blown fuse in your fuse box. However, never replace an existing fuse with a larger one. This allows an extreme current to flow which will lead to more problems.

Basic Appliance Safety Tips:

• Always turn off appliances that are not being used. This saves money and is safer.
• Make sure all natural gas appliances are properly vented outside.
• Avoid touching plumbing or other metal when an appliance is in use.
• Keep all appliances away from water. Never stand in water while using one.
• When replacing bulbs, make sure not to use a bulb with more watts then the previous bulb.
• When buying tools and appliances, make sure the product has been tested for safety by checking for the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) seal of approval.
• Never store flammable chemicals anywhere near an appliance with a pilot light.
• Always pay attention to worn spots, brittleness and breaks on cords due to wear.
• Plug major appliances directly into an outlet.
• Immediately repair or replace switches and outlets that spark or cause shocks.
• Always know where to locate the circuit breaker or fuse box in your home.
• Make sure to check your appliances for incomplete combustion to prevent any harm caused by carbon monoxide intake.

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