Refrigerator Safety Awareness: How to Avoid Fridge Injuries
You may think that refrigerators seem harmless. But these cooling machines could cause injuries on humans, such as bumps, bruises, cuts, pinches, electrical wounds, fires, and burns from coolant chemicals, coils, and poisoning.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and their National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) estimates over 7,000 injuries on children under 18 caused by refrigerators. The incidents occurred in the United States in 2013, most of them requiring hospital treatments.
The estimated number of injuries back then proves that refrigerators can be harmful to households in numerous ways, especially to those who don’t know how to operate them.
Common Injuries Caused by Refrigerators
Besides the number of physical injuries caused by falls and pinches, it’s also worth noting that refrigerators take a chunk of responsibility for food-borne illnesses connected to the improper use of the appliance and its functions. The common injuries from a fridge incident include:
1. Physical Injuries
Although refrigerators are one of the safest kitchen appliances, there are instances where they may release vapors from their contents, causing spillage. However, the most common injuries are cuts, bruises, pinches people get from the refrigerator door. But there is also a possibility that harmful chemicals released by the appliance by accident may lead to health risks.
2. Food-Borne Diseases
At least one in six Americans or 48 million people get sick, 128,000 get hospitalized, and 3,000 people die of foodborne diseases every year. Ensuring proper refrigerator care and use prevents food spoilage which leads to potential risks in health and immunity.
In a study conducted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, only 40 percent of Americans know that eating food stored in a refrigerator with a temperature higher than 40°F increases the danger of food-borne illnesses. It proves that more education is vital to avoid similar circumstances.
Keeping Refrigerators Safe
Safety standards followed by manufacturers are made by numerous consumer groups, government agencies, producers, retailers, and suppliers. Looking for a sticker that ensures it’s approved by CSA, ASTM, ANSI, UL, CPSC, and other safety associations is an essential part of promoting safety.
Meanwhile, it’s important to remain cautious about buying refrigerators made in China. Their regulatory standards are much different from those in the United States, making it unsafe for household use. The Refrigerator Safety Act requires that all fridges sold in the USA allow people to open their doors from inside the unit.
Nowadays, most manufacturers include safety features on their devices to ensure consumer safety. There are anti-tip technologies, sealed cooling and electrical components, safety glass or shatterproof glass shelves, and adjustable shelves—all installed to avoid injuries to humans.
Leave it to the Experts
The best way to have your refrigerator installed is by letting professionals do it. Although you only plug and play most appliances, it’s still important to hire someone who knows more about them, especially during the moving process. It’s vital to have a dedicated slot on the electrical circuit to prevent power overloads and electrical problems in the future.
Although refrigerators are generally harmless, prevention is always better than cure. If you can avoid getting injuries today, why wait until tomorrow? Also, remember to keep the refrigerator below 40°F to prevent harmful bacteria from growing.
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