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If there is any chance of harm or personal injury to you or anyone with you, immediately exit the building and call 911
If any appliance is sparking or smells of smoke, unplug it immediately. If you can't safely unplug the appliance, turn off the breaker.
If an appliance is leaking water or overflowing, turn off the machine and shut off the water supply line to prevent further damage. After shutting off the power, water should be cleaned up as quickly and as safely as possible to prevent additional damage, mildew and mold.
If there is standing water on the floor, do NOT operate any appliances! If you can safely get to your breaker box, turn off the breaker.
If you smell gas (often smells like rotten eggs) do not use your appliances. Shut off the gas if you can do so quickly and safely. Exit your home and immediately call for assistance from your gas company and/or 911.
In the event that an appliance catches on fire or if something in/on the appliance is on fire, you should NOT throw water on it. Instead use a fire extinguisher or baking soda to douse the flame. If the fire is too large to contain, immediately exit the house and call 911 for emergency backup.
These tips are intended to be helpful guidelines to help you reach a safe outcome from a serious appliance problem. Every situation can not be covered, so whether you use these guidelines is at your discretion. Please be safe and call 911 if there is any foreseeable danger!