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General Appliance Care Tips

Unplug small electrical appliances, such as coffee makers, toasters, blenders, etc. after using them. Do not leave them on the counter plugged in. Fires can start if an electrical component malfunctions. This is especially true of appliances with clock-timers or sensors.

Do not put a plugged-in electrical appliance where it can fall or be pulled into water, as in the kitchen sink, bathroom lavatory or tub. Drain all water before plugging any appliance nearby. Electrical appliances are “live” when plugged in even when the switch is off. If it falls into water, you can be electrocuted if you touch it. For this reason, never plug an electrical appliance either “on” or “off” anywhere near water, and go away and leave it if there are children around who could pull it into water and be electrocuted.

Extension Cords

Extension cords pose several risks. First, the extension cord connections may not be secure. Besides causing power fluctuations that may damage the equipment, poor connections can also result in sparks that could start a fire.

Another problem with the connections is that they are vulnerable to water penetration. This is especially true in damp areas such as laundry rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, garages and outdoors. Water and electricity are dangerous combination responsible for many avoidable deaths each year.

In general, in those circumstances where use of an extension cord is unavoidable, employ one that is heavier than the wires already attached to the appliance. Never use substandard extension cords that could start a fire. Also, whenever using power tools or similar equipment on long extension cords, be aware that the longer the cord is the more power is lost en route. This phenomenon, called voltage drop, is much less pronounced in heavier wires. Whenever you use an inadequate cord, you run the risk of damaging the appliance or causing the wires to overheat and become a fire hazard.

When extension cords, appliance wires and outlets are incompatible, people often use adapters to make things fit. Most commonly, people have a three-prong plug and a two-prong outlet. The third prong is the ground, and it offers important safety advantages. Since most heavy-duty appliances have plug configurations that are unique, a much better long-run solution is to have an electrician replace your 2-prong outlets with properly grounded three-prong outlets.
When moving appliances, if the cord can be detached, always unplug the cord from the wall before removing it from the appliance.

Of course there is the common sense rule of turning your appliances off when not in use, keeping them at room temperature and away from water plumbing system, and keeping plugs in the extension cord at a minimum to avoid an overload that can start a fire. Another thing, if you don’t know this yet, when doing welding in your house, remember to turn off several appliances to avoid a short circuit in your fuse box that may eventually lead to fires.

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