||06-16-2009 10:36 PM
Repair that fridge if you can, but if it turns out that you end up discarding it, make sure you take the door handle off or disabling the handle and latch so that they don't work before discarding it.
That's because old fridges like that still had mechanical latch handles, and children would play in and around an old fridge (using it as a "house" or "rocket ship" and often end up locking themselves inside it, often with tragic consequences because they end up suffocating.
The law in Canada and the US is pretty similar; homeowners have a much greater responsibility to the children in their neighborhood than they do other homeowners. If you don't put up a fence to keep children from swimming in your pool, and one of the local kids drowns in it, you can be held responsible. If you dig a big hole in your back yard for a pool, and there's a torrential rain so that the big hole fills up with water, you need to fence that area off and put up "Keep Out" signs because it would represent an opportunity to have a cool swim to a local kid, who could end up drowning because he can't get out of that hole cuz of the slimey mud. A discarded fridge or old freezer represents the same sort of thing; the kid won't recognize the potential danger until it's too late. The onus is on adults to recognize that children WILL trespass onto other people's property if there's an opportunity to play and have fun on that property, and people who know of potential dangers on their property have an obligation to protect the children in their neighborhood from them.