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Is Your Vacuum Sweeper Safe?

Aug 17, 2007
Almost every homeowner uses one or more vacuum sweepers to keep the carpets clean and tidy. Schools, churches, banks, and other commercial properties likewise make frequent use of this indispensable appliance. Although some models are larger, stronger, or heavier than others, their function is primarily the same: picking up lint, dust, pet hair, and other minute debris that has settled into the carpet fibers and may be causing allergic reactions or possible choking hazards for infants or toddlers. A reliable, hard-working sweeper plays an important role in any carpeted edifice.

If you use a vacuum sweeper, it is important to inspect the sweeper routinely to make sure it works properly and does not pose a safety risk. There are several things to check for every month or two, so you may want to keep a checklist taped to the inside of your utility closet door or wherever you store your home or office vacuum sweepers.

1. Check the cord. Look for frayed or worn areas, and cover them with electrical tape. If you spot a significant break in the cord cover, have a vacuum cleaner appliance dealer or repair shop replace the entire cord. Don't risk electrical shock or even a possible fire by neglecting this important inspection.

2. Examine the roller and sweeper blades. Make sure the sweeper is unplugged and gently remove debris that could jam the roller or cause potential clogs. Hair strands, bobby pins, or pet fur could wind tightly around the roller and interfere with its smooth operation.

3. Inspect the wheels and connective parts. Make sure everything fits snugly where it should and replace any stripped or loose screws. If there are cracked pieces, take the sweeper to the dealership for replacement items, including the handle, switches, extensions, and other sections.

4. Use the sweeper only as directed. Never try to suction standing water from a carpeted or tile floor, which could result in electrocution. Don't use the sweeper in the garage or on outdoor areas, like a porch, shed, patio, or deck. Use this appliance for household duty only.

5. Watch for warning signs. These might include sparks when you plug or unplug it, a burning smell when it is turned on, or grabbing and holding carpet threads or area rugs. If something doesn't seem right when using the vacuum sweeper, turn it off and call your appliance dealer or repair shop.

If your home has more than one level, you may want to get a sweeper for each one to avoid carrying it up and down stairs, which could pose a tripping or falling injury hazard. Pick up small toys and objects from the floor before vacuuming to keep them from getting stuck in the sweeper and possibly causing problems. Don't let children play with the vacuum sweeper. Store it in a safe, dry area. While a sweeper may not seem like an especially important appliance, try not using one for a week or more, and you may feel differently.
About the Author
You can learn more about household appliances and their care by going to the Appliance Club website http://www.applianceclub.com
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