From coffeemakers to toasters, blenders to waffle irons, microwaves to ovens - today's modern kitchen sports more electrical appliances than ever before. These appliances, like other electrical devices in your home, need to be operated safely and conscientiously in accordance with manufacturers' guidelines. As an increasing number of electrical appliances in our homes become necessities, our home's power circuits will grow more overloaded. This puts you and your family at risk. To ensure you don't have a potential safety hazard brewing in your kitchen, the Leviton Institute urges you to follow these important safety tips:
1. Unplug kitchen appliances, like toasters and coffeemakers, when you're not using them and never allow appliances like a stove or microwave to remain running when you leave home.
2. Never use a fork, knife or other metal object that conducts electricity to clean debris from “live” kitchen appliances such as toasters and toaster ovens. For routine cleaning, make sure these appliances are switched off and disconnected before you clean their internal parts.
3. Avoid using electricity near water and other liquids. Clean up all spillages in or around an electrical appliance after making sure the power supply has been disconnected. Never submerge an appliance or its electrical cord or plug in water or any other liquid.
4. Install a sufficient number of GFCI's in your kitchen. GFCI's are designed to prevent shock hazards by interrupting power if electrical current leaks from a damaged cord or appliance.
5. Always check your kitchen appliances for damaged cords or plugs before you use them. Contact with a faulty or frayed power cord or a broken appliance can cause electric shock. If an appliance malfunctions or appears to be damaged in any way, make sure the appliance is disconnected from the power outlet and have it repaired or replaced immediately.
6. Never let power cords or plugs dangle over the edge of counters or come in contact with hot surfaces. Dangling cords are a danger to small children who might pull them. Kitchen appliances should never be placed near a hot gas or electric burner.
Tips for Using Your Microwave Oven
In recent years microwaves have become among one of the most popular kitchen appliances. Be wary of the dangers associated with using them.
• To prevent facial burns or exposure to radiation from a defective appliance, microwaves should be kept high above the reach and eye level of children.
• Use only containers and tableware stamped “microwave safe.” Cooking trays made of metal or aluminum should never be used to heat meals. Never put aluminum foil in a microwave since it can ignite.
• If food you're preparing catches on fire, unplug the cord immediately but do not open the door. This will only feed oxygen to the fire. Wait for the fire to extinguish then remove the contents from the oven.
• Always use caution when removing items from your microwave. While your microwave stays cool, what's being cooked inside becomes very hot.
Source: Leviton Institute
# # #