Wire Framed Pop-Up Laundry Hamper Injuries

CBS Philly 3 Reporter, Susan Barnett, has exposed a horrible danger lurking in your laundry room or bedroom closet: pop-up laundry hampers. Ever popular, these seemingly innocent wire- framed laundry hampers or spring-tension hampers have been responsible for serious injuries.  Several children have been blinded by pop-up laundry hampers.

The danger lies in the wire encircling the top frame of the pop-up hamper. The top hamper wire breaks away from its encasement and the sharp tip is left exposed.

Keon Reeve, an 11 Year-old victim, described the wire expulsion in this manner ” “I was putting clothes in the basket and it popped out, like, real fast,” Keon’s eye was slashed by the tip of the spring-tension laundry hamper.  His ophthalmologist, Iris Kassem,  pessimistically states ““The chance of him having good vision in the end is unlikely”.

Unfortunately, this is not first time Dr. Kassem has treated an injury from a wire-framed laundry hamper in her practice.  She has also treated a 23 month-old patient who sustained a similar devastating eye injury.

A lawyer who represents young Keon Reeve, Michael Kedzie, has described the pop-laundry hazard as follows: “The fabric is so thin and the stitching is so inadequate that it allows the coil to just pop out.

Curiously, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, only has one listing of an injury sustained by a wire-framed laundry hamper.  However, both parents of the young victims cited in this article are preparing legal actions. Additionally, CBS Philly reports that a lawsuit involving a pop-up laundry hamper injury was recently settled for $665,000.

The one injury report on the CPSC website, submitted by a consumer, details a mesh laundry hamper purchased at the retailer Dollar Tree. The cited manufacturer is GREENBRIER INTERNATIONAL with a brand name of Laundry Essentials. The 48 year-old female victim described the 2012 incident as follows:

” I purchased the following product at Dollar Tree
http://www.dollartree.com/Laundry-Essentials-Mesh-Pop-Up-Hampers/p320736/index.pro
When I went to pick it up by the handle a wire inside it broke and gashed my forearm.
My forearm required medical attention and I received 5 stitches and had to get a tetanus shot.
Upon further inspection of this product it appears to be made with some type of extremely sharp wire.
I have emailed Dollar Tree and tried to contact via phone and have not gotten any response back”
It is unclear as of this reporting if ALL wire-framed laundry hampers pose a consumer health hazard. Additionally, it is not understood if the known cited eye injuries are in any way related to the mesh pop-up laundry hamper by GREENBRIER INTERNATIONAL  with a brand name of Laundry Essentials sold by the retailer Dollar Tree.
It is apparent that caution should always be used handling this type of laundry hamper until better consumer information is made available. Consumers should examine any existing wire-framed laundry hampers in their home for signs of wear and exposure of the wire or wire tip.  Damaged hampers should be thrown away in the trash. Parents should reconsider using these pop-up laundry hampers or spring-tension hampers in their homes as they might pose a substantial risk to children.

 

 

 

 

 

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Dryer Safety Tips – Avoid a Laundry Fire

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  <img src="house fire.jpg" alt="House fire caused by clothes dryer">

US Government statistics show that 2,900 clothes dryer fires occur in the United States every year. Annually, these dryer fires are responsible for deaths, injuries and $35 million in property loss. To keep your family safe from laundry room fires, attention must be made to the proper installation, usage and maintenance of the clothes dryer in your home. Here is a listing of safety laundry tips from the US Fire Administration related to reducing fire hazards in clothes dryers.

Clothes Dryers Dos For Prevention

  • Hire a qualified appliance professional to install your clothes dryer.
  • Mandatory cleaning of the lint filter after each dryer cycle. Routine cleaning of the backside of the dryer where lint and dust can collect. Every 6 months, physically clean the lint filter with a nylon brush —  more often if filter becomes more frequently clogged.
  • Visually inspect the venting system behind the dryer for any signs of damage, crushing or restriction.
  • Observe the outside wall dampers.  External dryer dampers should be equipped with a covering that shields from rain, snow and dirt. Wire screens or cloth should never be used as covering because they can attract and trap lint which will clog the dryer vent.
  • Outdoor dryer vent coverings should open when the clothes dryer is operating.
  • Both the interior of the dryer and the dryer vent system should be periodically cleaned (or repaired) by a professional appliance repair service. A sign of a clog, is a dryer that is taking longer to dry laundry.
  • All coiled-wire foil or plastic dryer venting should be immediately be replaced with rigid non-ribbed metal duct.
  • Gas powered dryers should annually be inspected by a professional. This will insure that gas the gas line and connection are free of leaks.
  • Beware of critters. Routinely check the outside dryer vents for nests of small animals and birds and insects. Promptly remove if found.
  • Verify that you are using the correct electrical plug and outlet as per your clothes dryer instructions. Double-check all connections.
  • Actually read and observe the dryer manufacturers’ instructions and warnings in the use and care manual provided at purchase.
  • Keep the area around the clothes dryer free of items free of items that can burn.
  • When you away from home for a long period of time (such as a vacation or business trip) unplug or disconnect the clothes dryer.

Clothes Dryer Dont’s For Fire Prevention

  • Never operate a clothes dryer without a lint filter or operate with a lint filter that is damaged, loose or clogged.
  • Never dry rubber, foam or plastic in the clothes dryer. This includes bathroom rugs lined with such backing.
  • Never dry any article with explicit care instructions that state “Dry away from heat”.
  • Never dry glass fiber materials.
  • Never dry in a clothes dryer items that have come into contact with flammable items such as: alcohol, cooking oils, gasoline and the like. Such items should be dried outdoors or in a well-ventilated room away from any heat source.
  • Never leave a clothes dryer running when the home will not be occupied.
  • Never leave a clothes dryer on when you are sleeping.

Establishing the above dryer safety guidelines will help keep your family and home safe from the hazards of clothes dryer fires. These safe laundry tips are easy to implement. Don’t delay, start making your laundry safer starting today.


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Dryer Fire Facts

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), a division of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Association has just released a report titled Clothes Dryer Fires in Residential Buildings (2008-2010). The findings showcase data collected by the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS).  Contained data highlights the truth behind the fiery headline news of many home fires: the laundry room, if not maintained, could harm your home and family. Preventive maintenance of the clothes dryer is key to lowering your risk of a fire in the home.

Home Dryer Fire Facts

  • 2,900 clothes dryer fires occur each year (on average).
  • 5 deaths a year are caused by residential clothes dryer fires.
  • 100 Injuries a year are caused by clothes dryer fires.
  • 35 Million in property is caused by residential dryer fires.
  • Dryer fires peak, usually, in January. A higher incidence of these fires occur in the fall and winter.
  • Failure to clean the dryer was the cause of 34% of clothes dryer fires.
  • Lint, fiber and dust were attributed as the ignition source in 28% of home dryer fires.
  • Clothing ranked second as a source contributor of ignition at 27%.
  • In 54% of the clothes dryer fire incidents, the fire was contained to the dryer.

Spare your family, home and wallet the disaster of a home fire caused by a dryer.  Safe Laundry Tip: read more about how to maintain your clothes dryer and dryer vent to maximize your energy savings. Home dryer fires are preventable.

 

 

 

 

 

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Dryer Fires Caused by Dryer Sheet Residue

WFMY News2 reporter, Liz Crawford, in Greensboro, North Carolina conducted an interview with Fire Captain Mike Simmons of the Greensboro Fire Department about dryer fires.
img src="fire safety.jpg" alt="Dryer sheet residue dangers in the laundry cause fires ">

Captain Simmons presented viewers with a powerful safe laundry tip concerning usage of dryer sheets. In his words:

“They release by heat and it becomes like a glue to the filter screen when it cools back off and it can clog your screen without you really being able to see it”

So if you are a fan of dryer sheets you need to routinely not just empty the lint screen after each load —-But, also wash the lint screen in soap and water. Washing will remove the buildup of residue that is clogging the screen and allow air to circulate. Without air circulation the dryer can overheat and cause a fire.

An economic and safe alternative to dryer sheets are dryer balls. Dryer balls allow you to soften your laundry naturally by allowing air to freely circulate within the dryer. This means dryer time is decreased and energy savings are realized. Dryer balls also reduce static cling and wrinkling —-which means less time ironing. They are a safe laundry tip because they lessen the formation of lint. Excessive lint buildup in your dryer is a ca cause of fires and an energy waster as it prohibits proper air circulation. Ditching dryer sheets is also a plus, because your family can be spared from harsh chemicals contained in traditional dryer sheets. And, we bet that Fire Captains everywhere would approve of them since they do cause a sticky buildup in your dryer —which is also a cause of dryer fires.


Read more about preventing dryer fires:

How to Fully Clean Your Dryer of Lint

What You Need to Know About Dryer Vent Hoses

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Dryer Fires – An Ounce of Lint Prevention is Key

Lint dryer fires and other causes of dryer fires caused an estimated 7,000 household fires in the years between 2006 -2008, per recent CPSC data. Now, the CPSC is participating in the creation of voluntary standards within the appliance industry to reduce the occurrence of household clothes dryer fires. But prior to manufacturers building safer and smarter dryers, consumers need to take safety into their own hands to protect their family and property. Routine dryer cleaning is mandatory….dryer lint removal a must. Knowing how to properly clean a dryer is a necessary safe laundry tip.

Lint From Dryer

Lint happens. Any act of abrasion, such as the rubbing of clothing across the skin, can cause fibers to loosen and form lint. Lint can be a combination of fabric fibers, skin, and hair and other materials. Fibers and debris gravitate towards one in another in clumps or clusters forming lint.

During the laundry lint is generated as clothing fibers become loosened and separated in the washing and drying process. Natural fabrics, such as wool and cotton, are more apt to produce lint versus synthetic materials—such as spandex.  Newer clothing will shed more lint than older clothing. Quality linen and garments with longer,stronger and better woven threads are less likely to thin and separate.

The agitation of clothing, towels and sheets within the wash cycle contribute to the deterioration of their comprised fabrics. This activity is hastened in the clothes dryer as the air generated by the dryer exhaust “pulls” loose fibers from the fabric. The tumbling of the clothing and other laundry items furthers the friction.

Dryer lint is highly flammable. In fact, it is considered excellent timber for campfires. Routine emptying of the dryer lint trap is a good first step to eliminating dryer lint. But, consumers must also perform additional dryer maintenance to prevent dryer lint from clogging the dryer vents.

What is a a dryer vent?

The dryer vent is the vent that facilitates the outflow of air exhaust and remaining lint. It is connected to the dryer and travels to either a vent cap outside or other outside clearance such as a window.

A dryer vent should be constructed of aluminum. Any vinyl dryer vents, even white vinyl, should promptly be exchanged for an aluminum dryer vent that meets current fire safety standards.

A telltale sign of a clogged dryer vent is a loss of drying capacity. Chris Hall, of Repair Clinic.com, states “If you notice that it’s taking longer for your clothes to dry, it’s likely that lint is clogging the venting system. You should clean it out as soon as possible.” When a dryer vent gets clogged by lint air flow it is compromised. The appliance thus consumes more energy as it takes longer and longer to dry the same amount of laundry. A reduction in air flow also means that the dryer can become overheated. The rise in dryer temperature and the build-up of lint within the dryer vent make for perfect fire conditions.

Cleaning a Dryer Vent

Unfortunately, many consumers assume that they have completed dryer maintenance simply by emptying the dryer lint catch after each load. However, the really hazardous buildup of dryer lint is hidden from view within the walls of the dryer vent.  A true cleaning of the dryer starts from inside of the dryer to the outside vent cap. Cleaning a dryer vent is best done three to four times a year to ensure safety. The amount of laundry you do and the type of garments that you launder can all impact lint levels. It is better to be aggressive in your lint removal efforts than lax.

Consumers no longer have to rely on a professional when cleaning the dryer. Today there are simple to use vent cleaners that can be purchased to help with the task of cleaning your dryer. Our favorite is the Gardus  linteater dryer dryer vent cleaning system rle202.

This dryer vent cleaning tool is an investment in energy savings and laundry room safety. The Gardus linteater has become a popular choice with consumers because it REALLY works to keep your dryer free of lint. This vent cleaning tool is sturdy and comes with easy to follow directions to assist in cleaning the dryer.  The Gardus Linteater can be purchased with for long dryer vents.

You will be amazed at how much faster your laundry drys. Some consumers feel as if they have a brand new clothes dryer. Think of the savings your wallet will realize from home energy savings.

 

[amzn_product_inline asin=’B0014CN8Y8′]

 

 

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Avoiding A Washing Machine Flood

Stopping Water Damage in the Laundry Room
<img src="washing machine in water" alt="illustration of washing machine floating water ">

Did you know that washing machines are the most frequent cause of home disasters? Insurance adjusters have identified burst washing machine hoses as the single most preventable source of damage to your home. Just one burst washer hose can fill a home with hundreds of gallons of water per hour.

The Problem

Your washing machine is a hard-working appliance. Joey Suarez, of A & A Plumbing in San Antonio, Texas states” It handles thousands of gallons of water, with lots of temperature swings and jarring movement. The hoses can become easily become brittle, form leaks or burst.”

The Solutions

You should inspect your washing machine hoses periodically for signs of  brittleness, leaking and unusual wear.  Most washer rubber hoses have a three year lifespan. When replacing the rubber hose consider purchasing a braided mesh / stainless steel washing machine hose.

Don’t ignore signs of a leaking washing machine. Even minor leaks in your laundry room have the potential to cause unseen and extensive water damage to the floors, walls, subfloors and frame of your home.  Untreated moisture build-up can lead to unhealthy mold growth.

Installing a washing machine drain pan can keep the immediate area under your machine free from minor water damage.

A small leak is a warning sign of larger problems ahead. Never delay. Take quick preventative measures to avoid a more costly leak.

You may also want to consider equipping your home with a Leak Detection System. Many insurance companies will offer you a homeowner’s insurance discount if you notify them that you have installed a water leak detector

Passive Leak Detection Systems are an affordable option for homeowners. These detectors signal leaks as they occur in your home. The downside is that someone needs to be in proximity to the detector to hear the alarm signal.  So, it’s alert is only useful if someone is at home to stop the flow of water.  This won’t help if you are work or the grocery store but it far better than not having any alarm at all.

Active Leak Detection Systems are more expense to install but can save you thousands if you ever have the misfortune of a serious water leak. These devices not only signal a warning alarm but also have the capacity to shut the water supply off at either the appliance or the main house supply. Some systems have the ability to activate central alarm systems.

Vacation Planning

Remember before leaving for vacation or a business trip to shut the water supply off to your washing machine. You don’t want to later find that your home was devastated by water damage while you were traveling.

With these simple preventative measures you can avoid a costly washing machine hose burst or other water damage accident in your laundry room.


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Energy Saving Tips For Your Laundry Room

The Refrigerator Repair Company has announced the results of a new study designed to help your you lower your families energy costs by making simple changes to your laundry routine.  The main key to decreasing energy usage in the laundry room is make certain that both your washing machine and dryer are operating efficiently. Machines that are not properly maintained or that are incorrectly used are forced to operated under pressure and ultimately utilize more energy resources.

The Refrigerator Repair Company offers these safe laundry room tips to help you save on your energy bill:

Washer

  • When appropriate, wash clothes in cold water. This saves the energy needed to heat the water.
  • Wash full loads. Washing machines use about the same amount of energy for all load sizes, so fill up the load to avoid wasting energy.
  • Use the high-speed spin cycle, to take moisture out of your clothes resulting in less drying time and more energy saved.
  • If you have an older top-loading washing machine, consider converting to a front-loading washer, which uses about 70 percent less water.

Dryer

  • Keep the lint filter clean to maximize air circulation, energy efficiency and to help prevent a potential fire.
  • Dry full loads and use the moisture sensor setting. Not only does this save energy, it also protects your clothes from heat damage.
  • Keep the dryer’s outside exhaust clean to prevent dryer fires and reduce drying time, which saves energy. Keep the dryer at least four inches away from the wall to prevent kinks or tears from forming in the exhaust vent.

Implementing these simple steps will both lower your energy costs and keep your laundry appliances operating safe and smoothly. A reduced energy bill and repair savings are the huge rewards for making minor changes to your laundry habits.

Refrigerator Repair Authorized Service has been providing reliable, professional and fast appliance Authorized Service since 1994.

 

 

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“Single Dose Packs” of Laundry Detergent Dangers

The American Association of Poison Control Centers and the experts at all 57 of America’s poison control centers have joined in one collective voice to sound the alarm about the dangers of “single dose packs” of liquid laundry detergent.

These small and highly concentrated packets of liquid laundry detergent are often ingested by children who incorrectly assume the colorful pouches to be food or candy. Such accidental consumption can result in serious harm causing hospitalization. Other children, attracted by the “squishy” feel of the pouches, have experienced severe eye irritation after they punctured the packets and had detergent splashed in their eyes.

Here are some examples of traumatic reactions caused by ingesting the highly concentrated liquid laundry detergents.

  •  Ten minutes after a 20-month-old swallowed a laundry detergent packet, the child developed
    profuse vomiting, wheezing and gasping and then became unresponsive to even painful stimuli.

    •   A 15-month-old who bit into a pack and swallowed a mouthful had profuse vomiting and, after arrival at a hospital, had to be put on a ventilator for airway protection.
    •   A 17-month-old bit into a packet and then rapidly developed drowsiness, vomited, breathed the product into the lungs, and had to be put on a ventilator.

Note the sudden and violent bodily reaction caused by the detergents.

“The rapid onset of significant symptoms is pretty scary,” said Dr. Michael Beuhler, medical director of the Carolinas Poison Center. “Other laundry detergents cause only mild stomach upset or even no symptoms at all.
Although we aren’t certain what in the product is making the children sick, we urge all parents and caregivers to make sure laundry detergent packs are not accessible to young kids.”

If you suspect that a baby,toddler or child has ingested one of these “single dose” packets of laundry detergent you should immediately call 911 and  your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222. Additionally, bring along to the hospital any container, package, label or remnants of what was ingested.

To avoid such accidents the The American Association of Poison Control Centers recommends these safe laundry tips:

  • Always keep detergents locked up and out of the reach of children.
  • Follow the specific usage and disposal instructions on the label.

The best advice is to always keep children well supervised. The laundry room should be an off-limits area to small children.  Also, when visiting friends, family or leaving your child in the care of another parents should discuss securing the laundry room.  Both the appliances in laundry facilities and the associated cleaning products pose significant risk to children.

Additional related Safe Laundry Tips:

How to Avoid Accidental Drownings In the Laundry Room

Keep Your Cleaning Products Locked

 

 

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Iron Safely With The Oliso Smart Iron

 

Okay, so I have a crush on a small appliance.

My funny valentine is the Oliso TG1050 1600 Watts Smart Iron.   This iron puts the romance (well, we can pretend) back into ironing.

Award Winning, Brawn and Brains

Seriously, the entire line of Oliso Irons are truly stellar appliances noted for their smart designs which allow you to safely iron your laundry.They have received a bounty of accolades and awards. Most notably, they were the recipient of the The Home Safety Council’s Commendation Award for Product innovation. The council recognizes products that are innovated with a focus on consumer safety.  The Oliso Iron also was an Iparenting Media award winner in a nod that shows that families with children appreciate the safe laundry benefits.

Oliso Smart Irons feature a patent-protected technology known as iTouch. The inventors of this new technology realized that the standard iron needed to be reinvented with a revived focus on ease of use and most importantly, safety. One of the problems with traditional irons are their inherent instability. Their wobbliness can cause accidental burns to the user or the fabric being ironed. The product engineers at Oliso solved the traditional iron design flaws and designed an iron that has both brawn and brains. The ergonomically designed Oliso Smart Irons actually know when you are ready to start or end the ironing process.

They key to the Oliso Smart Iron ITouch technology is in the handle. When not in use, the handle activates the lowering of the scorchguards. The scorchguards lift (like a push-up) the iron away from the surface area of the fabric or ironing surface. Thus the iron can safely rest in a horizontal position vs the mandatory vertical position of other irons. Such freedom prevents accidental overheating of fabrics, burns to skin, repetitive hand motions and the annoying falling iron occurrence.

But how does it iron?

Fabulously! The grill plate allows for smooth gliding over fabrics. It affords a vigorous steam action. You can safely steam fabrics in either an upright or vertical position giving you the flexibility you need to achieve professional laundered results. A unique fill tray design prevents water from dripping onto fabrics.

Watch this sexy steamer in action: Oliso Smart Iron Demonstration

Safety Matters

So our Safe Laundry Tip, is that the Oliso Smart Iron will greatly reduce laundry room hazards via:

  1.  Reducing Painful Accidental Skin Burns
  2.  Preventing Household Fires With Automatic Timed Shut-off
  3.  Defending Your Fabrics From Ruin By Accidental Scorching
  4.  Averting Dangerous And Damaging Iron Falls

Excuse me, please, I have to get ready for my date now. Umm….I mean go iron my clothes.

 

 

 

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Swedish Boy Gets Trapped in Washer

Earlier today, we posted a story about a 13 year old Canadian youngster who became entrapped in a washing machine. Now the news wires are reporting a similar story of a seven year old Swedish boy who also became stuck in the family washing machine.

According to The Local, the young boy was caught in the machine for several hours prior to being extricated by emergency workers. Rescuers had to carefully dismantle the machine and then needed to cut the washing machine drum in order to free the boy.

Luckily, the boy was not injured.

Children are both curious and fearless in their pursuit of adventure. These two accounts demonstrate that the washing machines and dryers are dangerous appliances to not only babies and toddlers but equally to older children.

Older children, unlike babies and toddlers, can be directly spoken to about the dangers of laundry room appliances. Children are taught at an early age that the stove is not a toy and that it is dangerous. Parents also need to instruct their children that the washing machine and dryer can also be perilous and are not playthings.

 

 

 

 

 

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