Home Appliances Hazards: Ten Tips for Maximum Safety

These days, we seem to own plenty of home appliances that are supposed to reduce our workloads and make life easier and simpler. But with those work-saving appliances come some hidden risks that could cause losses that cost us our homes, our contents, and our peace of mind.

Here is a list of home appliances and hazards that you can easily prevent:

1. Dishwasher: Has an average life expectancy of 9 years. Make sure the door seals work properly to prevent water leaks. If it won’t drain properly, check the garbage disposal to see if it’s clear. Water leaks from dishwashers regularly cause water damage in kitchens. If the leak is sudden, you’re probably covered. If the leak keeps happening over time, you probably won’t be covered for loss.

2. Clothes washer: Has an average life expectancy of 10 years. Replace the rubber hoses with flexible stainless steel braided hoses to prevent hose bursts and big water claims. If a hose bursts, the water could spray the laundry room until someone finds it, causing a big water loss.

3. Clothes dryer (gas or electric): Has an average life expectancy of 10 years. Lint build-up inside dryers causes nearly 4,000 fires each year. Make sure your dryer hose vents correctly. Replace plastic vent hoses with metal. Clean the lint filter after every dryer load. Disconnect the dryer and hose twice a year and sweep out the lint under and inside the dryer cabinet. You’ll be shocked at how much lint you’ll find.

4. Toaster/toaster oven: Has an average life expectancy of 5 years. All of these little toasters have a trap door so you can clean them out. Crumbs dry out and become very flammable. Clean out the crumbs to prevent a fire.

5. Microwave: Has an average life expectancy of 8 years. Never use metal inside a microwave. It will start a fire. It will also damage or destroy the magnetron that generates the waves.

6. Gas Stove/Oven: Has an average life expectancy of 15 years. Got electronic burner lighters? If you turn on the burner, and it doesn’t light immediately, turn off the burner. Even three seconds of gas…unlit…can explode when lit. Let the gas dissipate for about 30 seconds before trying again. If you have to, dismantle the burner eye and clean it out. Also, make sure you clean up spills inside the oven which can generate smoke and start a fire. You’ve got a lot of open flame with a gas stove. Watch out for sleeves, dish towels and pot holders.

7. Electric stove: Has an average life expectancy of 13 years. Have a burner or oven element that malfunctions or burns out? Replace it right away. Also, make sure you clean up spills inside the oven which can generate smoke and start a fire.

8. Refrigerator/freezer: Has an average life expectancy of 15 years. This appliance regularly has an icemaker, which has a plastic water line that feeds it. These water lines burst frequently, and they will pump water out onto the floor until someone discovers it. Replace the plastic icemaker line with a copper line.

9. Garbage disposal: Has an average life expectancy of 15 years. If it gets blocked, go to the fusebox and turn off the breaker or fuse before trying to clear it. Don’t ever stick your hand down inside a garbage disposal. Replace the rubber drain line with a braided line.

10. Electrical extension cords: Not an appliance, but cause thousands of fires each year. Don’t use a frayed cord. Look at the amperage rating on the cord, and don’t plug in stuff that exceeds the rating. If you have a cord that you can’t find a rating on, throw it away. Don’t place a cord under a rug, carpet or under a piece of furniture. Check ALL of the cords in your home to make sure that there is no furniture leg resting on a cord. Feel cords in use to see if they are warm or hot. If they are, throw them away and get a heavier cord. Using power strips is safer than cords.

I recommend that if any appliance repairs will cost more than half of the price of a new appliance, replace it.

If you will take care to do these simple tips, you will drastically lessen the chances of having a disastrous home fire. But if you do have a home fire, you will need an expert to help you submit your claim. Never allow the insurance adjuster to handle your claim on your behalf. Their job is to minimize your claim. Your job is to collect every penny you are entitled to collect. See the conflict?

Get more information about insurance claims at: http://www.claimsecrets.com

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