A quick guide to observing electrical appliance safety at home
Maintaining a safe home environment for your family is an essential. This entails paying attention to every detail and taking all reasonable precautionary measures in order to reduce, if not eliminate, potential hazards. As helpful as these domestic devices can be, these can also pose risks of fire, electric shock, and serious injury if they’re already damaged or defective.
Here are several reasons why an appliance becomes faulty:
Normal wear and tear
If a given appliance is old, frequently used, or both, then expect a degree of dysfunction over time. The rate of deterioration depends on the machine. The length of a warranty can serve as a rough guide for this.
Newer appliances can be more susceptible to failure than older ones because of their complicatedness. They definitely do more, but there’s also a lot more that can go wrong with them.
Although not all inexpensive appliances are bad, some makers of low-cost devices may be less interested in consumer welfare and product performance.
Even the most reputable companies occasionally suffer lapses in quality control of their products. If one of your appliances seem to be mal-functioning, especially while you’re using it, don’t ignore the problem.
Defective machines aren’t simply throwing tantrums whenever they won’t work properly—there’s something wrong with them. As satisfying as it might be to negotiate with, swear at, or kick the machine, you’re not resolving the issue. Do these things instead:
Stop using the appliance immediately.
Put it down (if applicable), turn it off, and unplug it, making sure to hold the plug and not the cord. If the cord shows signs of damage, find your fuse box and turn the power off at the socket.
Contact a professional.
Get in touch with the authorized dealer or repair provider, especially if the machine is still under warranty. Don’t just have anyone (yourself included) attempt to mend it.
Weigh your options carefully.
Ask for a cost estimate for fixing your appliance before having it repaired. If it’s over half the price of a new model, then better buy a replacement. Consider the time frame as well—can you wait weeks before you get your machine back?
Preventing difficulties is far better than waiting for them to crop up. Below are some tips for how to do just that:
Observe proper usage.
Most appliances nowadays can perform a range of tasks, but if you use one in ways other than what it’s meant for, you could cause destruction not only to your machine, but also to the rest of your house.
Perform regular maintenance.
Appliances require some care and upkeep to assure their continued safe and effective operation. Consult the user manual for each device and follow the guidelines carefully. It’s best to draw up a schedule.
Keep everything dry.
Electrical appliances should never be wet—not even the smallest bit of moisture. (If you’re about to handle a plug, for example, make sure to wipe your hands dry before touching anything.) Don’t store appliances where they might get wet.
Mind your cords.
Don’t run your cords underneath rugs, across high-traffic areas, or through places where they might be compressed between or beneath furniture which can wear away the insulation or squeeze the conducting wire, which can lead to overheating and electrical fires.
*This article has been revised for online reading. The original article appeared on the September 2014 issue of My Home Magazine. Get the e-mag version My Home Magazines on Magzter.