With all that we have to worry about, we hate to add anything to that list. But there are so many working parts to our homes — including a number of appliances that make our lives easier — that could pose potential dangers.
RepairClinic.com, an online supplier of replacement parts for appliances and outdoor power equipment, has identified the three most dangerous home appliances, along with tips on how to avoid injuries.
The clothes dryer
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, clothes dryer fires account for more than 15,000 structure fires annually. The primary culprit? Lint, which can clog the dryer venting, causing a dangerous buildup of heat and an instant fire that spreads fast.
Prevention: Clean out the venting system from inside of the dryer to the outside vent cap at least once a year. You can either hire a professional or purchase a long brush and go the DIY route. Vinyl venting should be replaced immediately with an aluminum equivalent. In addition, white vinyl no longer meets national fire code standards in the United States.
Check out Consumer Reports for more safety tips.
The lawn mower
Push, self-propelled and riding lawn mowers can all present their own risks, so be sure to take proper care and precautions. Debris — such as pet and children’s toys, stones, plastic edging, wood chips and pieces of aged blades — can be catapulted at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour.
Prevention: The cutting blade under the deck should be checked regularly for damage, bends and dullness. Blades should be replaced annually to every two years, depending on usage. Always make sure your children and pets are inside when the lawn mower is in operation.
The microwave oven
Do not try to repair your own microwave oven, which stores thousands of volts of electricity in its capacitor even after the microwave oven has been unplugged — that’s more than 30 wall outlets combined.
Prevention: Always call a repair professional when replacing electronic parts in a microwave oven. However, the cost to purchase a new microwave is often comparable with the cost of replacement parts, so RepairClinic.com recommends buying a new one. Nonelectronic microwave parts — such as door latches, glass trays and associated parts — are inexpensive and easy to replace.