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What are the Most Dangerous Appliances in Your Home?

It’s no secret that the home is – ahem – home to a number of dangerous products.   But can your humble appliances be plotting to kill you?  We asked our accident attorneys and the answer might surprise you.

  • Toaster

    • It is estimated that over 700 people worldwide are killed each year as a result of toaster fires and electrocutions.
    • Any toasters manufactured after 2001 are equipped with an “Anti-Jam” and auto shutoff mechanism, however, these can fail after years of use and buildup of food.
    • Toasters can contain exposed live electrical currents that can lead to electrical shock burns and even death – i.e. don’t stick a knife in the toaster to remove jammed toast. Unplug it first.
  • Microwave

    • Microwaves are non-ionizing radiation, so they do not have the same risks as x-rays or other types of ionizing radiation. But, microwave radiation can heat body tissues the same way it heats food. Exposure to high levels of microwaves can cause skin burns or cataracts.
    • The thermal effects of microwaves can cause testicular degeneration and lower sperm count.
    • Food reheated in a microwave oven typically reaches lower temperature than classically reheated, therefore pathogens are more likely to survive.
    • The FDA reports that serious skin burns or scalding injuries can occur around people’s hands and faces as a result of hot water erupting out of a cup after it had been over-heated in a microwave oven. They maintain that over-heating of water in a cup can result in superheated water (past its boiling temperature) without appearing to boil.
  • Dishwashers

    • Responsible for over 1,000 fires between 2002 and 2009.
    • The dishwasher’s door gasket may be contaminated with fungus and black yeast. In fact, as many as 60% of all dishwashers may be contaminated.
    • Load the knives point down – A UK woman died after she slipped in her kitchen and landed on knives lying upright in a dishwasher in a freak accident.
  • Space Heaters

    • Nearly 300 people are killed annually in the U.S. in an estimated 21,000 fires caused by space heaters.
    • Spaces heaters can also pose the hazards of gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Ranges/ Cook Tops

    • Responsible for over 16,000 fires in the U.S. between 2002 and 2009.
    • Cooking is the cause of nearly 43% of home and over 16% of home fire deaths.

Many of the victims and their families have grounds for wrongful death suits in these cases. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t hesitate to call one of our experienced personal injury lawyers in San Diego.

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