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Water Heater & Appliance Safety Tips

Water Heater Safety

The leading cause of deaths and injuries to children at home is accidents. Scalding from hot water is one of the most dangerous of these accidents. Small children are active and can get to sinks or bathtubs quickly. They can burn themselves severely before they can get out of the water. Infants are unable to move away from hot water if it is accidentally left on too hot or if the cold water is unintentionally turned off.

As a result, your water heater should be turned down from 150 to 120 degrees for safety, as well as for energy efficiency, purposes.

The chart below shows just how dangerous hot water can be.

How dangerous is hot water?
(Source: University of Michigan Health System)
Temperature of Water Time to Cause a Bad Burn
150°F (66°C) 2 seconds
140°F (60°C)  6 seconds
125°F (52°C)   2 minutes
120°F (49°C) 10 minutes

 

Appliance Safety

  • Follow the manufacturer’s directions regarding care and operation.
  • Repairs and installations are for experts – have trained people do the work.
  • A gas flame should be primarily blue. If it is yellow or orange, turn off the equipment and call for service (gas fireplaces are an exception).
  • Always make sure there is no gas buildup around a pilot or burner before you relight it.
  • Keep the flues of your gas appliances clean and properly vented. If you installed a gas conversion burner in the past year, be alert for soot and buildup from previous fuel. A buildup could block the flue and chimney base.
  • Teach children to never turn on or light gas appliances.
  • Keep trash and other flammable materials away from natural gas appliances.
If your appliances are over 20 years old, you should have the Appliance Connectors checked by a plumbing and heating professional.