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Pay Attention to Appliance Safety

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Most of us use multiple small appliances—coffee makers, irons, hair dryers, microwaves—every day. They make our lives more convenient but do carry some risks. Here are some ways to keep small helpers from creating big problems.
  • Make certain all appliances and tools are approved by an independent testing laboratory, such as UL.
  • Unplug appliances when not in use. Not only will this avoid potential electrical hazards, it will save you on power usage.
  • Be sure to have ground-fault circuit interrupter protection anywhere electricity and water are within 6 feet of each other, such as in your kitchen, bathroom and outdoors, to protect against electric shock.
  • Take any damaged electrical appliance or tool to an authorized repair center, or cut the cord, safely dispose of the item and purchase a new one.
  • Never reach into water to get an appliance that has fallen in without being sure the appliance is unplugged or the circuit is shut off.
  • Remember, electricity and water don’t mix. Keep all electrical cords and devices such as TVs and hair dryers away from water in a sink or tub.
  • When buying new appliances, look for safety features such as automatic shut-offs and retractable cords.
  • Plug appliances directly into wall sockets (preferably GFCIs) instead of power strips whenever possible.
  • Keep appliances clean from excess crumbs, dust and debris.
  • If a fuse keeps blowing or a circuit keeps tripping, you might have a fire or shock hazard on your hands. Don’t take chances— unplug the item and have a professional look at it.
  • Even a slight shock from an appliance can indicate an extremely hazardous wiring condition. Turn the power to the appliance off at the circuit breaker and do not touch the appliance until it has been checked by a licensed, qualified electrician.

Posted: 2/22/2021 11:10:34 AM
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