Thanks to the invention of the modern smoke alarm, fire fatalities have steadily declined over the course of the past several decades. In the past, communities were forced to combat fires as they happened. But today, we have access to fire prevention technologies that our great-great grandparents could never have even dreamt of.
In Australia, it’s a legal requirement for every home to be fitted with a smoke alarm. However, it’s essential that you take an active part in maintaining the alarms. It’s good practice to test your smoke alarms at least once a month and to change the batteries bi-annually. A nice way to remember this is to change the batteries at the beginning and the end of Daylight Savings every year. And while you’re at it, it’s not a bad idea to test for other household appliances during these times, too. In workplaces and warehouse environments, it’s mandatory to have electrical equipment and portable appliances tested and tagged on a regular basis. Given how much time we spend in our homes, why shouldn’t we exercise the same level of precaution under our own roof?
Here are 5 other household appliances you should also test while you’re performing your routine smoke alarm tests.
For busy parents and teenagers who can’t cook to save their lives, the microwave is an irreplaceable household appliance. However, like all other electrical appliances, they have to be maintained and tested properly. One of the most dangerous things that can happen with microwaves is that they can begin to leak radiation if the door seals are compromised. For this reason, it’s essential to get your microwave tested to ensure that you’re not being exposed to radiation leakage.
Microwaves can also become fire hazards if they’re not regularly cleaned or if the cords are damaged and frayed. A skilled test and tag specialist will be able to inspect your microwave and to test it for any issues or damage. It’s a relatively small task, but given how often microwaves are used on a daily basis, it’s one worth doing.
As the cooler seasons begin inching closer, you may have found yourself flicking on the heating switch or reaching for an electric blanket in recent weeks. The end of daylight savings marks the end of summer and the beginning of winter, so it’s a good time to test all your heating appliances before they’re put to full use. Electrical appliances like heaters, transformers, and electric blankets are fire hazards because they’re usually used for longer periods of time. The extended period of use means that there’s a higher probability of an overheated connection or an overloaded circuit.
One thing that many people don’t know is that portable electric heaters can’t be used with extension leads and power boards. They need to be plugged directly into the wall outlet so as to not overwhelm the circuit. Again, a test and tag professional will be able to do routine testing of your heaters and other portable electrical appliances to test them for hazards and to ensure that they’re working as they should be.
Toasters and Kettles
One of life’s simple pleasures is toast and a hot cup of tea in the morning. Much like microwaves, we’re willing to bet that your kitchen is equipped with a toaster and a kettle. If toasters are used regularly, they should be cleaned weekly (with the toaster unplugged, of course) to prevent crumbs from burning and igniting. A qualified test and tag specialist will perform a visual examination of your toasters, kettles, and other electrical kitchen appliances, and search for any signs of frayed or damaged cords and wires. After this, they’ll perform a series of tests to ensure that the risk of electric shock is minimised in your home. Again, given how often these appliances are used on a daily basis, it’s always recommended that you test them regularly and diligently.
Did you know that washing machines statistically have the highest risk of causing a fire out of all household appliances? This is because they come into direct contact with cotton and other combustible fabrics. It’s also because they emit moisture, which, if you’re not careful, can come dangerously close to other electrical appliances or cords. To maintain your washing machine, you should perform routine checks for leaks and to replace its hoses on a regular basis (6 months is standard).
If you ever get even the smallest tingle or zap from your washing machine or any other appliance, you need to disconnect it immediately and call an expert to test the appliance. Small electric shocks like zaps can mean that the appliance hasn’t been earthed properly, which can become very dangerous down the road.
Like washing machines, dishwashers are also fire hazards because they emit moisture and are often close to other electrical appliances. They’re also one of the appliances that are often left on overnight or for extended periods of time. As such, dishwashers require regular inspections to ensure that they’re safe for use and that you’re not unwittingly putting your kitchen at risk of a fire. Not only will regular testing keep you safe, it’ll also prolong the lifespan of your expensive dishwasher.
When it comes to electrical safety, it’s important to be diligent and proactive. Rather than dealing with a problem once it’s happened, there are plenty of preventative measures you can take to deter the issue from happening in the first place. The next time you’re performing your routine checks of your smoke alarms and other appliances, get in touch with Jim’s Test & Tag and we’ll send a technician down to test your electrical appliances for hazards. Call us today on 13 15 46 for an obligation-free quote.
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