Ironing clothes is one of those chores that might be a completely regular part of your routine. However, during completely routine tasks, we might overlook crucial precautions and end up with an injury!
Ironing can become an especially hazardous task if you have children, elderly persons or adults with epilepsy in the house. We’ve put together some easy tips that you can keep in mind to ensure everyone’s safety while ironing.
1. Safety Features On a Steam Iron
Knowing how to use a steam iron might feel like common sense to many people. However, when you get iron, always make sure to read the manual! You can note what safety features it has, what hazard warnings the manufacturer gives and so on.
A standard safety feature in a lot of irons today is the automatic shutdown feature. This feature ensures that the iron turns off after reaching a specific temperature or after a particular time. This feature can help avoid overheating, especially if an emergency or something prevents you from turning off the iron.
Suppose your steam iron doesn’t have these safety features. In that case, you can take extra precautions such as ironing clothes while another adult is around. You can also turn off the iron as soon as it has heated up.
If you are about to buy a new iron, make sure to prioritise the safety features while shopping.
2. Ironing Board
Ironing boards are designed with safety measures in mind. The material is heat resistant, and there is also space for you to keep the iron in between use.
It might seem convenient to iron on the bed or a couch. However, the sheets on your bed or couch might not be made of safe material and might start burning. The ironing surface is essential to keep in mind if there is a chance you might not turn off the iron due to a sudden seizure.
There will also not be any place for you to safely rest your steam iron in between use if you do not use an ironing board.
3. Ironing Space
It is important to find a safe space where you can iron without any hazards nearby. First of all, don’t iron in an area where there is a lot of water around – like a bath or shower. Water is a conductor of electricity and might cause an electric shock.
Avoid ironing in the kitchen, near any sinks, near the bathroom, and so on. You should also avoid ironing anywhere near electrical appliances and combustible substances. As a rule, set up your ironing board in a room where there is some space to keep it away from other things.
If you live with children, elderly persons or adults with epilepsy, find a space that can be away from their movement. It is essential to make sure an unknowing person will not suddenly come near the hot steam iron soleplate and hurt themselves.
Make sure to inform them that you are ironing in the room and close the door or make sure they do not come near the ironing board.
4. Storing a Steam Iron
It is essential to be safe and cautious, especially when storing the iron right after use. Keep in mind that the steam irons take some time to cool down. It is best to not keep the iron inside a box or a closed space made of inflammable substances immediately after use.
We often coil the cord of an electric appliance around it while storing it, but doing so with iron while it is still hot can lead to an accident. If the steam iron is left around, someone might also not realise that it is still hot and hurt themselves by mistake.
It is best to leave the unplugged iron on the designated spot on the ironing board. You should keep the cord far away from the heated surface and ensure that no one is around while it cools down.
5. Cord and Plug
The iron cord can be a physical trip hazard over which people might trip and fall on the hot iron. This is especially important to keep in mind if you have children in the house, but it can happen to anyone if the cord is lying around. Make sure to place the cord away from the floor where people might be walking.
The cord needs to be in good condition before you use the iron. Iron cords are usually wrapped in a heat resistant material to protect the electrical wires inside. If the cord is damaged in any way, avoid using the iron as it may cause accidents.
Make sure the iron is plugged into the proper outlet, which can handle the electric load. Finally, unplug the iron gently after use to avoid damage to the cord.
If you have little kids around, and you’re worried about them pulling the cord, then think about switching to a cordless iron to eliminate this safety concern.
6. Clothes Safety
All clothes are not meant to be ironed in the same way. All clothes might not be suitable for ironing. Hence, before ironing any clothes, it is essential to check the label for instructions and understand how to steam iron the clothes properly.
Some clothes might be able to handle a lot of heat, while others might need to be ironed after the iron partly cools down. In some irons, there will be a setting to control the heat as well.
No matter how much of a hurry you are in, never steam iron your clothes while wearing them! It might be tempting to smooth over a minor crease that you notice after putting on your clothes, but this is extremely dangerous and might lead to accidents and burns. Always lay your clothes down on a safe ironing surface before ironing them.
While there are quite a few ways in which ironing can be a safety hazard if not done correctly, there is no need to feel overwhelmed. As long as you don’t iron absentmindedly and make sure to take all precautions, you will be completely alright.