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When you think about laundry accidents, you’re probably more likely to picture a stubborn stain that won’t come out than real danger. But there are some real hazards lurking in your laundry room.
We all know water and electricity don’t mix, so the outlets in your laundry room should have ground-fault circuit interrupters. If your home doesn’t have these, have an electrician install them. To help keep water and electricity from mixing, inspect hoses for cracks and replace them at the first sign of wear.
Also be sure to clean up any spills quickly. Liquid laundry detergent and other cleaning fluids can be super slippery. Don’t store cleaning products on top of the washer or dryer as the machine’s vibrations can cause them to fall to the floor.
The most important safety step for your dryer is to regularly and thoroughly remove all lint. This means cleaning the lint filter every time you use the dryer and periodically inspecting the outside vent to make sure it is clear of lint and any other debris. Never operate the dryer without a lint filter. More than 20,000 house fires each year are caused by clothes dryers, most commonly due to lint buildup.
Use rigid or flexible metal venting material to help maintain proper airflow and drying times. Plug the dryer directly into a proper wall outlet—do not use extension cords or adapters.
Keeping Kids Safe
Big machines, colorful detergent bottles and detergent pods that look like candy can be attractive to kids. Keep all laundry products out of the reach of children. Always close the laundry detergent container immediately after each use and put it away.
In 2015, laundry packets were the third most common cause of unintentional poisoning in children under 5. Curious little hands can get into a dangerous situation quickly! Keep Fido safe, too. Dryer sheets are toxic to pets.