Toaster Fires – A Very Common Yet Avoidable Disaster
The sweet and savory smell of toasted bread, muffins, or bagels in the morning is verywelcoming in the morning – urging you to toast another loaf and use that toaster to its fullest. However, use a toaster for too long or in quick succession, and you’ll start seeing smoke or a strange smell coming from it as well. Even the slightest hint of a burnt smell may be a sign of an upcoming toaster fire.
Toasters are relatively simple to use and usually have safety mechanisms that can prevent toaster fires fairly easily. However, there are still cases where misuse can just as easily lead to toasters fires. This is precisely why fire damage restoration companies suggest that among the more dangerous appliances in your kitchen, toasters have the potential to be a very serious fire hazard.
This article will take a closer look at the risk of fire toasters present and what you can do to mitigate the risk of fire or deal with the damage afterward.
Fire Damage Restoration From Toaster Fires
According to research, over 700 people are killed because of toaster fires every year, with an average of over 1,300 fires every year from 2002-2009. One of the most common reasons for these fires is the pop-out mechanism failing and the bread within catching fire.
Other reasons for fire damage include mismanagement of the appliance in general.
There is no denying that toasters are inherently dangerous. Any appliance that creates heat can catch fire if not cleaned properly or isn’t used properly. The problem begins when one or more electrical components, particularly the regulators, get damaged. When this happens, the appliances keep on generating heat – going beyond the appliance’s threshold. As components continue to get heated, eventually, they melt and lead to fires.
This problem gets exacerbated if the toaster is placed next to or on something flammable. If there are other appliances nearby, the plastic in them can catch fire as well.
Prevention of Toaster Fires – What You Should Do
According to fire damage restoration experts, to avoid the risk of fire from your toaster, the most important thing you can do is keep it clean. Crumbs from toasted bread often fall n the plate beneath the heater. If the temperature gets high enough, there is a very good chance that they can catch fire.
Even if the toaster is on fire, its heating mechanism can often survive and further make a bad circumstance worse. By keeping the plate beneath the heater clean, you can not only reduce the chances of toaster fires you can also extend its life significantly.
Other tips to make sure your toaster is functioning properly include:
- Turn the toaster off when not in use. Toasters are usually between 800 to 1500 watts. Keeping your toaster on can ramp up your electricity bill quite a bit. When not in use, we recommend that you turn the toaster off and unplug it.
- Don’t use it on high setting sunless absolutely necessary. If your toaster was supposed to be used on high all the time, there wouldn’t be a deal that allows you to adjust the power, right? For example, toasting brown bread on high is a surefire way to start a fire – even if you are just a few seconds late.
- Inspect the toaster for damage. Toasters are often used in the morning when you are in a hurry, and so you may not have the time to inspect them every day. We recommend that you create a note o your refrigerator to properly check the toaster whenever you are free. To inspect it:
- Unplug the toaster and make sure it is not hot
- Conduct a visual inspection. Look for any black or brown spots on the body.
- Look for any discolored or burned spots on the toaster’s wires
- Shake the toaster softly and listen for any loose items
- Pull out the plate underneath and make sure it is clean
- Only use a toaster for 6 to 8 years.
How to Deal With A Toaster Fire
If you ever find that your toaster has begun smoking or smell something burning with the toaster turned on, you should immediately unplug it and let it cool down. However, what if you walk into the room and find that your toaster is on fire?
Adopt the following four-step process to extinguish the fire.
NOTE: NEVER use water on a toaster fire.
- Unplug the toaster, if possible. If not, turn off the circuit breaker leading to the toaster quickly.
- Use a fire extinguisher or a fire blanket to cover the fire and limit its oxygen supply. If the fire is bigger than the blanket or the extinguisher isn’t helping, evacuate the house immediately.
- When using a fire extinguisher, it is recommended that you aim at the base of the frames.
- Under no circumstances should you fan the flames.
- If possible, turn off and remove any electrical appliance nearby. Even if the fire is under control, keep them turned off until the smoke has been cleared out.
- Open a window for ventilation.
Call the fire department immediately if the fire is getting out of hand.
Once the fire has been dealt with, you should consider calling fire and smoke damage restoration companies such as 911 Restoration of South Bay Los Angeles quickly. If the damage was extensive, you will also need water damage restoration services and get your electrical system looked at. Give us a call for an all-inclusive service as we help you recover what you lost and get back to your normal lives quickly.