February is small appliance safety month!
When it comes to small appliances, there’s a golden rule for ensuring they don’t start a fire in your home – unplug them when you are not using them.
That’s especially true with any appliance that produces heat, including toasters, toaster ovens, microwave ovens, hair dryers, portable dishwashers and electric kettles.
You should also be vigilant about appliances when they are in use. Appliances with automatic turn-offs, for instance, may malfunction as they age. Instead of shutting down when they should, they will continue to heat up and start a fire.
Many house fires start in homes because of small appliances. Here is a list of tips to help keep your home safe:
- No power = no fire. Unplug all small electrical appliances when not in use. Hair dryers, shavers, curling irons and toasters. Unplugging can also save energy and lower your power bill for a double win!
- Don't overload. Avoid plugging in too many appliances at once.
- Check for recalls. The latest recalls are posted at Healthy Canadians.
- Inspect appliances and cords. Always check for frayed cords. Never run electric cords (including extension cords) under carpeting. They can overheat or be damaged by furniture.
- Unwrap it. Never wrap cords around hair dryers, curling irons or other hair appliances when storing them. That causes kinds, which shorten their lifespan.
- Use only approved appliances. Make certain all small appliances are approved by an independent testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories Canada (ULC) or Canadian Standards Association (CSA).