The Six Home Appliances Most Likely To Start a Fire
Here's something to worry about. Your stove might turn itself on at any moment and start a fire. It happens 2,000 times a year in the U.S. Here's a list of the six appliances most likely to start a fire.
The stove top.
The National Fire Incident Reporting System shows that ranges in U.S. kitchens started almost 17,000 fires between 2002 and 2009. Some newer electric stoves have a thermostat, so they can switch on and off to maintain a steady temperature. If they malfunction, they can switch on for no reason. And gas ovens might have problems with delayed ignition.
Lint buildup caused almost 9,000 dryer fires between 2002 and 2009. If you didn't know, lint is REALLY flammable. Clean out your lint filter before each load, and install a carbon monoxide detector near the dryer if it uses gas.
Accidents with microwaves are much less common, only about 1,700 over the eight-year period. Sometimes a microwave can malfunction and turn itself on. So if you see an unusual error message, unplug it and get it fixed right away.
There were only 1,500 refrigerator fires in eight years, generally from short circuits or overheating. Or sometimes the light stays on when the door is shut. So just press the switch inside the door once in a while to make sure it's working.
About a thousand fires in eight years. Sometimes a circuit board or heating element will catch fire. Or liquid rinse aids can leak into the circuitry, if there's a crack in the dispenser.
Toasters have caused about 900 fires in that eight-year period. Faulty units might turn themselves on, or a mechanism might get jammed during toasting. The most important thing is not to toast anything that doesn't fit in the slot.
There actually isn't a lot to be nervous about, because these types of fires are very rare. There were fewer than 70,000 incidents in eight years, compared to hundreds of millions of appliances sold.
Have you ever had an appliance malfunction? Did it cause any damage to your home or apartment?