Play it safe with appliances

Dear editor,In the past several months there has been an alarming rise in the number of fires in homes and businesses in the North Island. In recent years people including myself have been lolled into a sense of over confidence in our devices that do things for us automatically. The danger is that many of us have been lolled into the thinking that multitasking is perfectly safe. Newer devices do save us work and quicken our tasks, but really how safe is it to leave them unattended when we go out to the store, or hit the sack for the night or take off for a little trip?  These devices are mass produced and quality has been compromised over the years. A firm getting a CSA sticker for their product really only means that the specific device they brought into the testing place has passed, but what about the many others they are making? Many things are made in Asia or Europe and their testing standards may not be up to snuff.  While we can’t prevent everything we can go a long way to making things much safer by following some very basic safety precautions.If you are going away on a trip turn off the taps to your washer, unplug AC adaptors or wall warts and only leave ones in that have to be left in such as clocks or alarm systems. Refrain from leaving your washer dryer or dishwasher going while you sleep at night.  Regularly check AC adaptors or wall warts to see if they are getting hotter than usual or if the wires are damaged. Perform regular maintenance on your equipment and appliances, such as making sure back condensers or coils of fridges or freezers are clean and lint is removed from dryer venting. Never run wiring or cords under rugs or places where it can get damaged or stepped on. Be very careful with power bars or multiple plug extension cords these have a tendency to allow an electrical overload of the circuit. Never use higher fuses than the specified one or change to a higher breaker than the correct size.  Electricity is a great worker and a friend, but if used unsafely can kill and never plays favourites.  David Lyon Sointula

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