Download Fact Sheet Faults On Home Appliances

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Fact Sheet Faults On Home Appliances:
Microwave ovens. A recent fire hazard associated with wheat bags heated in microwave
ovens was reported in Firepoint magazine. Microwave ovens emit radiation that will excite
water molecules and if there is no moisture available, other less volatile molecules will
absorb the radiation and start to heat. Therefore any material which has dried out can
overheat and ignite in a microwave oven. Also, any metal objects inside a microwave oven
can cause severe sparking which could lead to a fire.
Cooling fans. There have been several recalls of cooling fans in recent years, one of which
involved a hazard associated with a capacitor that overheated and caused the plastic casing
near the capacitor to ignite. Problems with fan motors are common, however fires originating
from motors are rare because the motors are well ventilated and the heat generated from a
fault is readily dissipated.
Sink disposal units do not normally present a fire hazard because many are equipped with
overload devices that cut the power if the motor becomes seized. However, the power for
most "sinkerators" is supplied from a power outlet installed under the sink and these sockets
are susceptible to moisture, particularly if there is a leak at the back of the sink.
Stoves and ovens are normally made of non-combustible materials that significantly reduce
the fire hazard. However, if a combustible material such as a towel or some cooking oil is left
on the stove or in the oven and there is a fault with a controller, fire can occur.
Electric blankets continually emit heat and do not have any over-temperature sensors. If the
heat cannot escape because the bed is too well insulated, the bedding material can ignite.
Another fire hazard associated with electric blankets is when the bed is made the leg of the
bed could be placed onto the power lead or the controller, causing a short circuit and
eventually a fire.
Waterbed heaters rely on good thermal conductivity between the heater and the waterbed to
prevent them from overheating. If an insulating material such as a sheet is placed between the
heater and the bed, the sheet can then ignite