You will surely agree that there are rooms in a house that we can say are more important than others. This includes the bathroom, the bedroom, and the kitchen. If any of these rooms are out of bounds for any reason whatsoever, the effect on your life will be immediate. Effects that will be quite unpleasant. But today, only one of these rooms interests us, the one that could cause us the greatest prejudice – the kitchen. But how can a kitchen be threatening? To answer that question, we have to look at some national statistics. According to the NFPA ( National Fire Protection Agency), 49% of house fires start in the kitchen. If we consider the 2019 fire statistics, 1,291,500 house fires started that year, making 632,835 kitchen-generated fires. Most of which are unintentionally started.
To reduce this amount, the NFPA and US government has been trying to create awareness. They have been educating citizens on the various actions they can take to prevent a house fire. Understanding the right and wrong behaviors in a kitchen can save you and your family from a disastrous event. NOTC, as your electrical service provider, has decided to take the lead to help you make your kitchen and home a safer place. We came up with eight kitchen electrical safety tips that will ensure that you never face any accidents or fires in your home. Let’s dive in immediately.
Position Your Sockets And Switches Safely
It is general knowledge that one should never place sockets and switches in any room next to a water source or a position where water can get to them easily. This rule is even more important in a kitchen. Kitchens, big or small, often hold more than ten sockets distributed around the room. Sockets and switches that we use to operate our dishwashers, mixers, and kettles are usually situated above the counter. Now, the question here is how far above the counter is it safe to fix your sockets and switches? We recommend placing your switches and sockets at least 30 inches above the sink for the highest safety. Placing them at this height will prevent them from coming in direct contact with water, situations that can cause electrocution or short circuits.
In case you have refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, or washing machines situated under your worktop, we recommend installing a fused connection above the counter for better accessibility. This way, if an incident happens and you have to remove your appliances from the electricity grid, you can do that by simply turning down the switch.
Do Not Leave Your Washing Machine And Dishwasher Running Unattended
In the report that mentioned about 632,835 kitchen-generated house fires in 2019, the NFPA revealed that 32% of these house fires happened because homeowners left appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers running unattended. The debate on the danger of leaving an appliance unattended is one that is often controversial. It is true that dishwashers and washing machines are built to work without human assistance. Most people do not even care to stay next to their appliance after launching a cycle, and everything is fine. The problem with monitoring washing machines and dishwashers is not the fact that they are unsafe to run. You should monitor your appliances while they are running to be able to stop your appliances quickly in case of an incident. You never know when your appliance will malfunction and create a fire. If such an unfortunate event ever happens and you are home, you can shut down everything and extinguish the fire before it spreads. Whenever you think of launching a cleaning cycle on your dishwasher or washer, do so when you are at home, and you can monitor the appliance till the end of the cycle.
Be Careful With Your Cables
The most common mistake people make with kitchen appliances is wrapping them around hot equipment. Electric appliance cables are more delicate than you may think. When in contact with warm or hot surfaces, they start to wear. The more they wear, the more they become dangerous for your home, your household, and the appliance itself.
Do Not Use Kettles And Toasters In Poor Conditions
There are kitchen appliances that can work more or less well with age without causing any major problem. Unfortunately, that is not the case for kettles and toasters. These two kitchen appliances can become a real reason for concern as they get older. If you notice that your kettle or toaster has worn out cables, makes strange sounds, or becomes extremely hot when in use, stop using them and replace them immediately.
Do Not Overload Your Extensions
Extension plugs are delicate equipment that has a limited current capacity. Exceeding their current capacity might lead to overheating and, in the worst case, a fire. So be careful how much kitchen equipment you plug into one extension.
Defrost Your Fridge Regularly
Your fridge is an appliance that rarely gives us any trouble. It is without any doubt one of the safest appliances in our homes. However, a fridge that is very much neglected can become a threat to your home. The perfect example of a refrigerator issue that can cause you problems is excessive frost. A fridge with excessive frost generates various problems ranging from simple seal problems to compressor problems. When the frosting affects vital parts of your fridge, it causes it to overheat. This overheating will cause problems to the electrical system of your fridge and at the end of the day could cause a fire. That is why we recommend you defrost your fridge at least once every year and perform a thorough cleaning of your appliance.
Do Not Ignore Any Sign Of A Kitchen Electrical Issue
Electrical issues that result in house fires often show warning signs of failure before the incident happens. These signs could be flickering lights, power failures, or strange smells. If you notice any of these signs, call us immediately, and we will send our experts to investigate the issue. Contact us at (800)-568-8664 or leave us a message, and our electricians will come to your home and solve any electrical situation you may have.