This doesn’t mean that you should freak out and duck and roll every time you make avocado toast in your kitchen. But if you are not careful, your kitchen could be an accident waiting to happen.
Of course, your oven and stove can be dangerous because they could end up cooking things besides your food. And you should be careful about operating a garbage disposal, blender, or something similar while wearing a long necktie or scarf. But there are other dangers that may not be so obvious. For example, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, each year approximately 22,500 people have to visit hospital emergency departments after getting injured by furniture, TVs, and appliances tipping over, 44% of whom are children. Your kitchen probably has at least one tip-over risk plus several things that can catch on fire, and on fire not in a good way. Specifically, there are four things to look out for, based on what three appliance repair experts who run the “Appliances Made Simple” website say.
1. Your refrigerator can tip over, catch fire, or give you bad microbes.
Assuming that you don’t have a TV, a dresser, or a gigantic Harry Styles statue in your kitchen, the most likely thing to tip over is your refrigerator. Your fridge is probably the most-used appliance in your kitchen as well because that’s where the food be. So frequently engagement means that it may be more likely to move. Moreover, it’s freaking heavy since a fridge made completely out of papier-mâché, rubber, or lint wouldn’t work too well.
Therefore, it’s super important to keep your refrigerator secured, potentially to the wall, as the “Appliances Made Simple” website recommends, so that it doesn’t Rock the Casbah, so to speak, until it falls on to you. It’s not great idea to place heavy items on top of your fridge either as they may fall on to you. So find some other place to put your anvils, bowling balls, and iron garter belts.
Also, remember that the refrigerator has electricity flowing through it so it can catch fire should wires or other parts be faulty. Therefore, make sure that everything is in good working order. Antique end tables may be nice but not necessarily antique refrigerators.
Finally, your refrigerator could be a home to a lot of unwelcome guests. No, not your relatives and in-laws who just won’t leave, but rather microbes like bacteria and mold that could get you really sick. So keep the insides of your refrigerator clean and throw out any food that may be spoiled or contaminated.
2. Cooker hoods and ducts can catch fire.
Your stove can certainly catch fire. In fact, if you have a gas stove, it is supposed to do so to a limited degree. The trouble is it can readily spark a fire in anything close to the stove. That includes the hood and ventilation systems sitting above or to side of the stove. Such systems can get get clogged up with dust and grease, leaving them readily ignitable. Therefore, it’s important to regularly clean these systems and frequently replace the filters. You don’t want a hooda, coulda, woulda situation.
3. Dishwashers can catch fire.
Just because a dishwasher has water running through it doesn’t mean that it can’t catch fire. A dishwasher typically has heating elements and uses electricity as well. So the same keep-it-clean-and-in-working-condition advice applies here too. The “Appliances Made Simple” guys also recommend allowing the heating element of your dishwasher to cool down for a few hours after a wash cycle before initiating another one. In the case of dishwashers and people, being hot may be good but there is such a thing as being too hot. Moreover, the three guys advise against running your dishwasher overnight or any other time when you may not be around to quickly detect that something’s gone wrong. It’s not great coming back to a situation where the dishes are done but the house is on fire.
4. Microwaves can catch fire, expose you to radiation, and cause heat things to burn you.
By now you may think that seemingly everything in your kitchen can catch fire. That’s may be true for practically besides your ceramic Taylor Swift Meets BTS Shrine. But one more appliance that could be prone to going aflame if it’s not maintained properly is your microwave. Yes, that innocent appearing microwave that you may use to reheat your gnocchi or make your underwear nice and cozy feeling. Chances are you know that metal items such as utensils and handcuffs shouldn’t go into a microwave because they may spark a fire. But you should also look for places where the microwave may have wear and tear, allowing them to malfunction and catch fire.
Check the door to the microwave too. A defective door can allow radiation to leak out and in turn expose you, which wouldn’t be great. Microwave radiation to your popcorn is one thing. Microwave radiation to your genitals is another thing. Thus, the “Appliances Made Simple” guys warn you to regularly check the seal of the door and make sure it closes tightly.
Then there are the food, beverages, and anything else that you may put in the microwave. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the majority of microwave-related injuries are burn injuries when people touch, eat, or otherwise come into contact with food, liquids, or containers before they’ve had time to cool down enough. It’s never a good idea to put boiling hot stuff in your mouth.
The “Appliances Made Simple” trio consist of Adam Morris, an engineer with about a decade of experience. David Lewis, an engineering student, and Jason Hutchinson, an engineer with 15 years of experience repairing appliances. They have general advice for all small appliances in your kitchen, urging you to keep “their cables safely tucked away from the edge of your countertop to avoid them being accidentally pulled off the worksurface. This is especially important if you have kids in your home.” They also “recommend that you register all new appliances with the manufacturer so they can reach out to you in the case of recalls or the discovery of faults.”
Again, this doesn’t mean that you should never go into your kitchen or replace your kitchen with a bocce ball room. It simply means that you should keep your kitchen in good condition and be mindful of the possible dangers. While you can dance the “Safety Dance” if it’s truly done safely. Your kitchen may not be the best place to shuffle dance to the song “Sex Bomb” while wearing a Deadpool mask that doesn’t have any eye holes.