Does MJ have a stance on gas range versus electric stove for chapters with live-in members who utilize the kitchen to cook?

We typically discourage members from having access to kitchen equipment beyond just a toaster, microwave, coffee maker and refrigerator.  This is particularly important in houses that have commercial kitchens because the stoves, ovens, etc as well as other large equipment that can be tricky and unsafe to operate without special training.  While we understand that there are many members that live in smaller residential-type houses around the country that do have access to residential kitchen equipment,  we are concerned that there are risks associated with allowing members even that kind of equipment – burns, leaving the oven on and setting fire, etc. As with most things, it is up to each organization to determine if they are comfortable with the level of risk.

That all said, I would think that an electric range would be safer than a gas range because you avoid the chance of a gas leak or catching something on fire from the regular open flame.

What is your risk management position on electric blankets?

Like any electric appliance, electric blankets can spark fires in the home that damage property and threaten lives. To reduce your risk of fire when using one of these blankets, remind your members to do the following:

  • Switch the unit off when finished using it.
  • Inspect blanket daily for any signs of damage or wear, and replace blanket if you spot problems such as frayed wires.
  • Use and maintain blanket according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and replace it at least every ten years even it if still appears in good condition.
  • Make sure the electric blanket is plugged into a single outlet and not daisy-chained to one outlet, increasing the risk for overload.

There are some health conditions (pregnancy, diabetes, to name a few) for which doctors discourage the use of electric blankets. Make sure your member residents have cleared the use of an electric blanket with their health care provider.