1. Space heaters– Space heaters are believed to be the most dangerous appliance within your entire house. These power heaters are usually used in the winter for extra warmth and are commonly seen heating large areas in the winter such as shops or school halls. Recent figures were released by the Product Safety Commission showing that 21,800 house fires in the United States are caused each year by this appliance alone. The stats also showed that around 300 people each year in the States die as a result of the fires. As well as causing house fires, space heaters also carry the risk of gas leaks, carbon monoxide poisoning, burns and electric shocks.
2. Gas and electric stoves/ovens– As well as house fires and gas leaks, electric stoves can also cause bad burns to the skin when cooking. What is more commonly the main cause of house fires from stoves and ovens are the small crumbs on the hobs which can set alight. Be sure to clean the hobs regularly before and after cooking.
3. Toasters– Believe it or not, the toaster is one of the deadliest in the whole house and has been described as ‘more deadly than sharks’. The average toaster creates the most house fires in the UK according to recently released figures. Be sure to avoid the obvious causes of disasters like poking knives in to make sure the bread is toasting properly.
4. Dishwashers– Dishwashers are another main fire hazard that you may not expect. The household dishwasher contains various hazards like scalding from hot water. There is also a risk of cutting yourself on sharp moving utensils. The dishwasher can be more of a hazard to smaller children that try and interfere with the washes so be sure to keep them away during the cycle.
5. Electric mixers– Electric mixers are a more obvious danger hazard in the kitchen, these appliances of course include sharp blades that move at very high speeds. Always make sure that you use the machine correctly by following the user manual and keep it away from young children.
6. Clothes dryers– The clothes dryer is an appliance that you may not suspect however; it has been one of the largest causers of home fires from appliances in the UK. To avoid potential tragedy, make sure to vent the dryer to the outdoors and not to a wall so that steam can escape properly. Never leave the dryer running if nobody is in the house and avoid putting synthetic fabrics, rubber or plastics into the dryer as they can gather heat which can then lead to a fire.
7. Irons – The iron is a somewhat dangerous item if it is not used appropriately. The iron can be easily knocked off of the ironing board if it is not supported properly and small children can sometimes pull on the chord causing it to fall on them. The appliance can reach extremely high temperatures causing severe burns to those whose skin comes into contact with it. As well as burns the iron can cause a fire if it is left turned on whilst face down on the floor or ironing board.
8. Washing machines– Washing machines, like clothes dryers, can actually cause house fires due to faults and overheating. Make sure that the washing machine is not completely surrounded and that it is given enough room to vent. There have been various stories in the past of washing machines overheating and letting off large amounts of black smoke.
9. Deep fat fryers-Deep fat fryers can be classed as dangerous for a number of reasons and many argue they are the biggest contributor to incidents in the house. These machines can be classed as fire hazards due to their potential to heat up to extortionate temperatures. Users must also be aware that a single splash of fat from the fryer can cause scalding, severe burns and even blindness.
10. Television- You may remember being back at school and having the local fire fighting service visit to explain safety procedures and potential fire hazards. The one thing that they always seem to mention (apart from chip pans of course) is the television. The television is often left on standby during the night by many people rather than being switched off at the mains. This can lead to the TV overheating and cause it to potentially set alight.
Jake currently writes for JR Wood a company that deals with commercial, industrial and electrical work.