Appliance fires: Is your home safe?

Source: Consumer Reports

The Consumer Product Safety Commission, using estimates from 2006 through 2008, says that major appliances caused more than 150,000 residential fires each year, resulting in 3,670 injuries, 150 deaths, and $547 million dollars in property damage. Human error certainly plays a role, especially in fires involving cooking appliances and clothes dryers. But when Consumer Reports conducted an in-depth analysis of federal fire data, we found that only about half of appliance fires could be blamed on human mistakes, such as unattended cooking, or natural causes such as storms or animals. Much of the rest appear to be due to problems with the appliances themselves, according to our review of safety records, fire reports, and court documents. (See our interactive for more details on appliance fires.) Among the findings:

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