Toaster Fires and How to Prevent Them
The delicious smell of an English muffin, cinnamon raisin toast, or a scrumptious bagel are sure signs your making good use of your toaster. However, if you notice smoke or weird smells coming from your toaster, this may be a sign of an impending toaster fire.
So are toasters safe? Your toaster is one of the more dangerous appliances in your kitchen and can be a serious house fire hazard if not taken care of correctly. It is estimated that over 700 people around the world are killed each year as a result of toaster fires and electrocutions.
Fires from your toaster are often caused by mismanagement of the appliance. Here we will talk about what you need to do if your toaster catches on fire, as well as some other tips for preventing it from happening in the first place!
Are Toasters a Fire Hazard?
Toasters are inherently dangerous because they produce heat. The problem is that electric elements can continue to generate the necessary amount of heat even after their selected time has elapsed, and this could potentially lead to fires.
Toasters are also placed next to other appliances which can lead to a fire as well, especially because some toasters have been found to stay turned on even when the toaster lifter is in the off position. Being close to other appliances causes the fire to have the ability to expand quickly around your kitchen.
To avoid the danger of your toaster there are important steps you can take that will lower the chances of it catching on fire. Below, we tell our favorite tips for keeping your kitchen safe from toaster fires:
- Keep it clean – Make sure you clean out the crumbs and wash it down regularly.
- Turn it off – It is important to make sure that the toaster is turned off and unplugged when you’re done using it, but with today’s busy lifestyles many people fail to turn off their appliances when they’re done using them for long periods of time.
- Use the right setting – There’s a reason that your toaster has different settings. Not only will heating it the right amount of time be good for your taste buds, but it will also lower the chance of it starting to flame.
- Check for damage – If there is any sign of trouble with the toaster, such as black or discolored spots in the wires, turn it off and unplug it immediately.
- Replace it – The average lifespan for a toaster is between 6 to 8 years. It’s important to replace your appliance when it starts getting older.
How Often Should You Clean Your Toaster?
The best way to prevent a toaster fire is to use proper maintenance techniques. Cleaning your toaster every week helps ensure that it lasts longer than its expected life span. You don’t want to risk having a faulty appliance that might burn down your house.
What do You do When a Toaster Catches on Fire? 4 Steps
When prevention methods aren’t enough, you may find yourself facing the onset of a toaster fire. So, now what do you do when you have a toaster on fire?
- First, unplug your toaster immediately. You must make sure to cut off the power before putting out any flames as this will help prevent them from spreading onto other surfaces or rekindling themselves.
- Next, use a fire extinguisher or fire blanket to cover the fire and prevent oxygen from helping it grow. If you have a fire extinguisher, hold the nozzle close to the base of the flames and spray until extinguished; if using a blanket, cover up any remaining flames with it. It is always best to smother the flames. Never fan them, as this will only cause the flames to grow.
- Turn off any electric appliances nearby to prevent them from getting overheated or sparking another fire while you put out the original one.
- Once the fire has been extinguished, open a window for ventilation and remove all items from the surrounding area to avoid hot spots that can reignite in other areas of your kitchen.
Remember – If the fire begins to spread, stay calm, exit the house, and call the fire department immediately.
Why Do Toaster Ovens Catch on Fire?
If crumbs and food particles accumulate at the base of the toaster, oven where the heating element is located, they could ignite and catch fire. Food being left in the toaster oven for too long a period or at too high of a temperature can also lead to it catching fire. Due to their proximity to flammable materials, these pose an obvious threat for fire.
Preventing a Toaster Oven Fire
It’s important that the inside of your appliance stays neat and tidy, so as not to promote bacterial growth. To maintain this balance in order for food items stay safe, keep an eye on crumbs getting into the bottom or even drippings onto metal surfaces like grills or racks. If there are any hard-to-reach areas (especially at higher levels), take advantage of removable parts such as trays and racking systems which make cleanup easy breezy!
Experiencing a Toaster Oven Fire?
Toaster ovens are different from toasters, however if yours catches fire, follow the same guidelines as a toaster fire. Turn off any appliances that may have sparked and smother it with fire extinguisher or fire blanket.
How to Clean a Toaster After a Fire
To clean and repair your toaster, turn it off completely. Gently remove any crumbs or debris from the bottom of the appliance while it’s still cool. Use a vacuum cleaner attachment to suck out anything you can’t get with your hands (or else use an old toothbrush). Wipe down all removable parts using vinegar and water solution.
When a fire takes place in your kitchen, it can be scary and stressful. Once the fire is out, you may wonder what to do next. That’s where we come in. The Jenkins Restorations team is available 24/7 with an arsenal of powerful tools and processes that will restore your home back to normal as soon as possible.