Fire Safety Tip: Don't Leave Your Dishwasher Unattended

Have you ever left the house with a load of dishes soaping up in the dishwasher? Yeah, us too. We never though much of it until we read this news story today: A local Fire and Rescue Investigator is blaming a dishwasher as the cause of a majorly destructive house fire in Oregon.

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The Oregon homeowner whose kitchen was destroyed in the fire told investigators that he left the house with the dishwasher running. Neighbors who saw flames coming from the front of the home were the first to call for help.

It's a tragedy for that family, but their story serves to remind us that dishwashers are appliances, and we should operate them with the same care and regard for safety as any of our kitchen tech:

  • Never leave the dishwasher running unattended. Make sure it's completed its cycle and shut off before you leave the house (But you can be lazy and wait to unload it like we do!).
  • Get acquainted with the manual (or find your model's manual online). It will help you operate your dishwasher and the manual is a great place to turn to spot and troubleshoot problems.
  • Take care to have the wiring and electrical components inspected occasionally (annually or bi-annually), or more often if you experience weird electrical issues in your house (circuit breakers that trip or fuses that blow frequently).
  • If you're buying a dishwasher second hand, or buying a house with appliances included, have the wiring and electrical components inspected and certified by a professional.



(Images: Flickr member Fl3ms licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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Taryn is a writer, maker, and designer in Atlanta, Georgia. Living in an apartment with her husband and their Boston Terrier, Bacon, she loves to entertain and hates having a tiny kitchen.