Did you know that the kitchen is the most dangerous room in your home? No, this does not mean buying take-out every night is safer nor is it more affordable. Nice try! There is heat, fire, water, and on top of it all, electricity to contend with. So, it is no real surprise to learn that according to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), 49% of fires in the home start in the kitchen.
The good news is this risk is manageable with careful planning and knowledge of the appliance(s) you are using. For instance, the new air fryer that I received as a present for my 41st birthday, given to me by my sister; I was excited and we opened the box immediately so she could show me how to use it. Then of course the electrician came in to steal my joy, not to be mean, but to protect me. Dan warned me not to use the air fryer at the same time as the microwave, and of course, I gave him a little side-eye. My thoughts are you are an electrician, just fix it! Then my wheels started turning and it nagged me all weekend…how many of my mom friends are using these appliances – air fryers, instant-pots, crockpots? How many do not know that they could have a potential electrical disaster brewing next to their glass of wine?
There are many things you can do to prevent an electrical hazard, which is why I decided to blog about common electrical hazards associated with kitchen appliances and give you advice on how to avoid them.
The Most Common Electrical Hazards in the Kitchen Include:
- Poor or inadequate wiring
- Electrical items close to the water
- Overloading the system
- Using wet hands
- Ignoring the fire risks
- Making sure the outlets in your kitchen are GFCI/AFCI and code compliant
Microwaves, Air Fryers, and Insta-Pots Oh My…
These appliances are family favorites in the kitchen for the amazing convenience they provide, but they should be respected. Just because you do not see a presence of a flame does not mean that these appliances are any less dangerous. These appliances use high wattage to achieve super-fast results, so making sure that vents are kept free from blockages and the interior is free from food debris is crucial if you want the appliance to continue to function safely.
You should also keep an eye on any unusual malfunction codes that might flash up, notably “F” codes, as these may be an indicator that something more serious is going on. “F” codes stand for failure, so if F2 appears, it indicates a thermal sensor failure, while F3 means that you have a shorting membrane keypad failure, which can be extremely dangerous. Read the manual for electrical requirements and keep it handy just in case an error code does appear.
Ways to Avoid Hazards
- Check to see if there is a model with a child lock available.
- Make sure all air vents are free from blockages.
- Make sure that the space it occupies is safe and secure.
- Always unplug these appliances when they are not in use.
- Read the manufacturer’s handbook before operating
- Use appropriate cookware and utensils (non-metallic)
How to Handle An Electrical Fire
- Do not panic! The most common reason why an electrical fire becomes worse has something to do with heightened emotions. Cut off power in the affected area.
- Never use water to put out the fire. Call emergency services or an electrician.
Kitchen appliances can be safe, and I would not want to discourage anyone from using any of the items on the list, but I do urge you to treat them with care and attention. Accidents happen, no matter how hard you try to avoid them, but you can limit your chances of falling victim to an electrical hazard by following my simple advice.
Concentrate on the task at hand, avoid distractions, and never handle electrical items with wet hands. If your electrical system has not been checked out in a while, we offer electrical safety inspections as well as home appliance wiring services for the Main Line.
As always if you would like our help at Farryn Electric please feel free to give us a call at (484) 316-0449 or use the contact us form for your convenience.