We have all become accustomed to leaning on our appliances. They make life a lot easier and for the most part, they are extremely safe and easy to operate. However, there are a few things we can all to make sure they remain safe and that you do not put yourself in unnecessary danger.
Appliances in Damp Locations
You are bound to have some appliances that can be in areas where dampness occurs, such as the laundry room, the garage, or outdoor appliances. If you do not already, make sure these appliances are using ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) outlets. If there are any imbalances in the power detected the GFCI automatically trips the breaker. If you do not have GFCIs, in these areas of your home, we highly suggest you upgrade as soon as possible.
Water and Electricity Don’t Mix
Seems like a common sense thing to say but today, we have more people using outdoor appliances than ever before. Unfortunately, some of them are not doing so in a very smart way. If you are using outdoor appliances, make sure all the outlets and cords are dry. Install GFCI outlets with water-tight gaskets. You can also use cords specifically made for outdoor use.
Extension Cords Are Not a Permanent Answer
This is something we see far too often… people using extension cords on an appliance that is plugged in all the time. When you are working outdoors and need an extension cord for your saw, that is one thing, but you should not have an appliance, or anything really, plugged into an extension cord for long periods of time.
This is dangerous because a loose connection could cause a spark and a fire. For the appliance, the power fluctuations could damage or destroy the appliance. The additional connection also means there is more of a chance for water to seep in and cause an electrocution. There is also the chance of the wires overheating because the cord is not adequate to power the appliance.
Read Your Operating Manual
Yes, I know… the operating manual usually goes into the junk drawer and you only dig it out when something breaks. Well, that is a mistake. When you buy a new appliance, take the 10 minutes it will take to familiarize yourself with the new appliance because there just may be a few tips in there regarding the operation of the appliance that could prevent an accident in the future. After you read it, THEN you can throw it in the junk drawer.