The Real Reason Your Fridge Has A Magnetic Seal Is A Little Disturbing

by Emily Arata

Every day you reach into your fridge for a snack before slamming the door closed.

The door's magnetic gasket seals the space between the appliance's door and body, keeping in the cold. But have you ever thought about why?

The most interesting part of a quirky history lesson is usually a sordid event leading to a change, and the refrigerator appears to be no exception.

On Thursday, someone spotted a Quora post questioning why fridge doors are magnetic.

Although the original question seems to deal with actual fridge material, a history-savvy user began explaining the history of the door's seal, and it was riveting.

Hint: The answer involves the untimely deaths of curious children.

In 2005, The Straight Dope published a column by author Cecil Adams. The article explained how old-fashioned refrigerators had latches instead of gaskets.

Quickly, a problem became apparent: A child would hide inside a fridge, the latch would close and the child would die.

It mostly occurred in disused fridges with irregularities.

After years of warning children not to play in fridges with doors still intact, the US finally passed the Refrigerator Safety Act in 1956.

It mandates that every refrigerator produced after 1958 be openable from the inside with a force of 15 pounds.

Adams notes, however, children still played in old models found in trash piles.

As a result, refrigerator entrapment deaths continue to this day.

Your refrigerator doesn't seem quite so innocent now, does it?

Citations: The Reason Your Fridge Door Is Magnetic Is Pretty Horrifying (BuzzFeed)