Toasters have been a kitchen staple for decades. Just about every kitchen has a toaster – they’re right up there with coffee pots and microwaves. But compared to other small kitchen appliances, toasters pose a larger risk of electrocution. And, if you have children at home, you definitely want to continue reading.
When it comes to toaster safety, there are two main issues: 1) people who try to “fix” their toasters, and 2) people who try to stick a knife down the toaster to dislodge a slice of toast, an English muffin, or a bagel. The next time you (or a member of your household) try to do any of the above, UNPLUG it first.
The two above scenarios are where folks tend to get electrocuted. According to Consumer Reports, “Big and small appliances, and power tools account for the most non-work-related electrocutions. And, perhaps because they are more likely to be fixing things or using power tools, men are victims of electrocution seven times more often than women.”
Safety First with Toasters
To stay safe when trying to fix a toaster or fish out a piece of bread or other breakfast item, follow these safety tips:
- Always buy a brand-new toaster. Avoid buying used toasters from garage sales and thrift stores.
- When you do buy a new toaster, be sure to get it from a reputable store or dealer (for online orders).
- Follow the manufacturer’s directions for use, storage, and cleaning.
- Register all new toasters with the manufacturer in case there is a safety-related recall.
- Never stick a knife in the toaster when it’s plugged in, or you’re risking a serious electrical shock.
- If you have children in the home, teach them to NEVER put anything down the toaster like a knife or spoon.
- Clean out the crumb tray frequently. This will help you prevent an electrical fire.
- Regularly check the plug and socket for buzzing or crackling sounds, burn marks, or if it’s too hot to the touch.
- When the toaster is unplugged, wipe the outside but never spray or clean the inside of the toaster with water or cleaner.
- If your fuses keep blowing or if the circuit breakers keep tripping, contact a licensed electrician.
- Sometimes, an electrical fire happens for reasons you can’t control. In case this happens, have fire extinguishers and plenty of smoke alarms throughout the house to notify you immediately if there’s an electrical fire.
- If there is a fire, use the fire extinguisher and if that doesn’t work, call 911 and get out of the house fast.
- If the toaster or the cord are damaged or cracked in any way, stop using it and buy a new one.
- If you notice a strange smell, unplug the toaster and contact the manufacturer immediately.
If you’re looking for an Atlanta electrical contractor, we invite you to contact Lightning Bug Electric today!