Appliance Safety

This article looks at electrical safety in and around the house, office building or workspace. Identifying some of the risks associated with certain appliances and devices, and how to apply some common sense to keep accident free.

Around the house

General appliance safety in and around the house.


The post popular appliance in the home is TV. Modern television screens come with a few dangers however.

Light Bulbs

Most light bulbs operate at high temperature and the glass casing gets really hot and will burn the skin.
New low power energy efficient bulbs not as hot but contain a gas that should not be inhaled so don’t break them.
If a light bulb casing is broken and the wires and filament is exposed do not touch whilst it is plugged in and live. If touched with one hand you may close a circuit through your body to ground and will likely be electrocuted if no safety switch is installed. If touched with two hands this will result in fatal electrocution that cant be stopped even with an rcd safety switch.



Power Points

Have you ever wondered why all power points are female in orientation and all cords are male. Its because at a power point you have direct access to 240V 10Amp 50Hz AC. This interface is designed to be as safe as possible by hiding the terminals 10mm inside the outer facing, making it more difficult to touch.


Computer Hardware

In the Kitchen

Appliance safety in the kitchen


Blenders contain 12 V DC motors that operate up to 10Amps. This is actually quite a strong DC motor. And because of this there are certain risks.


Toasters heat bread by running electricity through heating elements, if those elements are touched with a conductor (like a metal knife) then electrocution may occur.

Microwave Ovens

Microwave ovens heat by emitting microwave radiation because it is readily absorbed by H20 particles, the H20 molecules vibrate when excited by the electromagnetic radiation at this frequency, this molecular vibration translates to heat at our human scale.
Dangers are that water molecules have the potential to become very highly heated under these conditions and stream released from a pressurised vessel in a microwave can exceed .
Spark risk when metal is placed in a microwave.
Explosive risk when pressurised and flammable materials are placed in a microwave.

Electric Ovens

Induction Cooktops

Inductions cooktops have been heralded as the pinacle of safe cooking because they do not transfer heat energy. Ever placed your hand ontop of the cooktop and expected to feel heat, but shocked to realise the top plate is cool to the touch? This is the magic of electromagnetics at work. ……. . So although these cooktops ensure the user us unable to burn themselves on it, they do require that other safety precautions are taken.


Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposal units are a relatively dangerous machine to have installed in ones house. There are numerous scenarios for accidents to occur, whilst having limited usefulness.

In the Bathroom

Appliance safety in the kitchen

Hair Dryers

Hair Straighteners

In or around Water

Tap water contains dissolved compounds that form ionic groups, these ions are charged particles that facilitate the transference of electrical current. Well great, what does this mean? It means that tap water conducts electricity. Therefore any situation where water is involved, such as: bath, sink / basin, shower, toilet, are all potentially electrocution risks. So extra care must be taken in these scenarios to ensure that mains connected appliances and devices are never in contact with or submerged in water. The rule of thumb is, if using an appliance or device keep water away, or if using water keep electricity away.

In the Laundry

Appliance safety in the laundry.

Washing Machines

Unbalanced washing machines may vibrate intensely and this vibration may be harmful to .

Clothe Dryers


Did you know that irons draw a large amount of power? As well as getting very hot, which comes with the obvious dangers of burning and fire ignition, there are also hidden dangers that come with an appliance that’s drawing a relatively large amount of power (in its heating cycle).
Twisted power cable. Running an iron through a 4 way power board. burning out the internal element. House fuse.

In the Garage

Appliance safety in the garage.


Any high power device comes with extra risk. Such as grinders, electric saws, welders, drills, .

Arc Welders

Welders are particularly dangerous for a novice that has no training using this piece of equipment. Anode and cathode

High Pressure

High pressure water hoses such as Gerni’s or . Pnuematic nail guns. Spray painting guns.

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