Virtually every single household in the United States uses electronic appliances on a daily basis. Oftentimes, these appliances can cause unexpected injuries to someone in the home. Home appliance accidents cause 150,000 E.R. visits each year in the U.S., according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.
While many appliance accidents can happen due to improper use or failure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, accidents can also be caused due to flaws in the design of the appliance, poor quality materials, and errors in manufacturing. Appliance accidents can cause a wide array of injuries, ranging from bruises and minor cuts to severe burns and even the death of the injured person.
Most Common Appliances that Cause Injuries
Unsurprisingly, some of the most commonly used appliances in the home are also the ones that cause the most injuries. Some of these appliances are:
Refrigerators and freezers: In order for refrigerators and freezers to cool the food that’s inside them, the appliances use complex machinery, such as compressors, and hazardous chemicals. These appliances are susceptible to electrical shocks due to worn wires, possibly causing someone to get electrocuted. Also, leaking chemicals in refrigerators and freezers can cause poisoning.
Ceiling fans: Ceiling fans are a lot more dangerous than most people think. Fan blades can rotate 70-150 revolutions per minute, making them especially dangerous for children. It often happens that adults pick up small children in the air not realizing that the ceiling fan can be within the child’s reach, causing the child’s head to come into contact with the rotating blades. The ceiling fan installation can also cause an injury. When wiring the appliance, many adults forget to cut off the power and get electrocuted or burned with the hot electrical lines. Lack of proper installation or maintenance can also be the cause of serious injury due to ceiling fans.
Space heaters: Homeowners living in cold winter areas use space heaters to save energy when trying to only heat one area of the house rather than turning up the thermostat. Space heaters can run on kerosene, propane, electricity, and other types of fuels. The heat these appliances produce can be enough to kindle flammable objects such as curtains, books, rugs, etc. Fires are the most common cause of space heater injuries. Carbon monoxide poisoning is also a possibility, depending on what type of fuel the heater uses.
Stoves and ovens: These appliances are used daily in most households. Many homeowners don’t realize the real dangers of stoves and ovens, and even small toaster ovens. Unsupervised children opening a hot oven or coming into contact with a hot stovetop cause most injuries of this nature. Toaster ovens are responsible for many adult injuries. Cheaply made toaster ovens are built of a material that can get heated up to over 400 degrees on their outside walls, causing burns from just touching the appliance. Many stove and oven injuries are caused by the carelessness of the user. However, it’s also possible that they can be caused by defects of the product or a lack of manufacturing quality.
It’s always important to watch for manufacturer’s recalls on appliances, which are very common in the United States. Also, if you suspect an appliance caused you a personal injury, calling an experienced attorney in the area to discuss a possible personal injury lawsuit might be necessary.