Domestic appliances are safer than they have ever been. Nonetheless, electrical malfunctions and appliance breakdowns still lead to a significant number of house fires every year, and some of these can prove devastating or even fatal.
But a few simple steps can keep your appliances safe and secure 24/7. Follow these tips to minimise or eliminate the risks that white and brown goods pose.
For all appliances
- Register your appliances. Registermyappliance.org.uk is a great place to do so. Registering your appliances will ensure that manufacturers can contact you if the appliance is recalled or needs a safety upgrade.
- Fit a smoke alarm on every level of your property, and check that the alarm works regularly. Fire brigades recommend testing smoke alarms once a week – it only takes a few seconds!
- Don’t fit appliances in outbuildings, garages or any other location that may be vulnerable to moisture, humidity and fluctuating temperatures. Domestic appliances re designed to operate indoors at normal room temperature and humidity, and can break down or become damaged in other conditions.
- When you buy a new or second-hand appliance, read the manual carefully. If you don’t have a manual, check on the manufacturer’s or brand’s website, as it may be duplicated there. Keep these manuals in a safe place.
- Note down the date of purchase and serial number of your appliance. This will be useful if you ever need to make a query.
- If an appliance does not have an on-off switch, ensure you switch it off and unplug it when it is not in use.
- Do not use appliances for anything other than its intended purpose.
- Don’t overload your extension cords. It is best to avoid the use of extension cords altogether if possible.
For specific appliances
Hobs and ovens
- Turn your oven off when it is not in use.
- Double-check that the hobs and oven is turned off, even when it is unplugged. A gas oven will still emit gas when it is unplugged.
- Clean your oven and hobs regularly. Don’t clean it if it is still warm!
- Clean ceramic and glass hobs after every use. If you have not done so, you may be able to purchase tools and products that were specifically made to remove burnt-on food from your oven.
- Clean burner caps, drip pans and grates regularly. You should be able to clean these with dish soap and hot water. Bleach may be required if they are very dirty.
- Clean your microwave regularly. Use a clean soapy sponge, and don’t forget to clean the door and the seals.
- Do not store items on top of your microwave, as this may block the vents and cause it to overheat.
- Do not put any metallic items in your microwave unless you are completely sure that doing so is safe – i.e. the cooking instructions recommend the use of metal components contained within the packaging. Some microwave meals use metal for a range of functions – microwave pizzas may be on a metallic base, as this gives them a crispy crust, while popcorn bags use metal to ensure thorough and even popping.
- Do not heat non-food items in the microwave unless the manufacturer’s instructions advise you to do so.
Refrigerators and freezers
- Do not install refrigerators and freezers next to radiators or other heat sources.
- Install these white goods in well-ventilated and dry rooms.
- If your freezer does not defrost automatically, defrost it when you notice ice and frost accumulating. This will not only keep the appliance safe, but will improve its energy efficiency and help your food freeze faster.
- Clean your fridge and freezer thoroughly every month or two, and ensure that any drainage systems are clear and free of debris.
- Clean the soap dispensers occasionally.
- Clean the filter occasionally if required.
- Leave the door open when the washing machine has completed its cycle and you have removed your clothes. This helps to keep the appliance dry.
- Clean the silt trap regularly.
- Empty the condenser tray on condenser dryers every two or three washes.
- Do not open the tumble dryer door when it is still in operation – this can prevent the dryer from heating up properly.
- Do not put soaking-wet clothes in the dryer – hang them out to dry or put them back in the washing machine for a ‘quick spin’.
- Do not overfill your dryer – a half-full drum is full enough. This will not only improve the longevity of your dryer but will also be more energy-efficient.
- Clean your dishwasher filter regularly. Check your manual or the manufacturer’s website to do so properly.
- Rinse your dishes before you put them in the dishwasher.
Need an urgent appliance repair?
Don’t forget, we offer cover for a range of household appliances to ensure you have peace of mind should yours ever suffer a breakdown. Please contact us via our website or on 0345 3192 247 to find out more. Or call us today for urgent assistance. Our technical teams will run through some simple diagnostics to see if it can be fixed over the phone and if not, they’ll send a manufacturer engineer where possible to take a look.
Don’t attempt to repair the appliance yourself unless you’re really confident what you’re doing. A number of things could go wrong including risks of jamming, electrocution, burns, scalds, cuts and much more. We’ve got a number of highly skilled engineers up and down the country – so you’ll never be far from help when you need it most.
247 Home Rescue accepts no liability for any injuries or damages you sustain following the advice on this website. If in doubt, seek professional assistance.