Navigating fire and water damage caused by efforts to extinguish a toaster fire
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth explains best practices for toaster use. If a toaster does cause a fire, the professionals at SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth can help the homeowner or business clean up and restore the fire damage.
SERVPRO® of Northeast Fort Worth delivers water removal and water damage restoration services when a fire damages a home or business. In many cases, a fire damage disaster involves a significant water damage disaster from efforts to extinguish the flames. A heat-producing appliance such as a stove, grill, air fryer, waffle iron, or toaster has an elevated fire risk.
Ten toaster safety tips
These tips will improve the use and safety of the toaster, and minimize the risks of a toaster fire.
- Inspect the toaster before use. Look inside the slots for items that may have been inadvertently left in the toaster.
- Always stay with a toaster while it is in use. Once unplugged, allow at least sixty seconds for the appliance to cool. The leading cause of house fires is an unattended dish (including toast, pastries, or waffles) cooking in a stove, oven, toaster, or other heat-producing appliance (air fryer, deep fryer, toaster oven, grill, waffle iron, etc.)
- Clean the toaster frequently. When the unit has cooled and unplugged, dump the crumbs and any residue in the toaster. Wipe the surfaces of the toaster with a soft cloth and a safe, gentle cleaner.
- Keep combustibles (paper, plastic, rags) and flammable liquids (alcohol, aerosol cleaners, solvents) away from the toaster, even when the appliance is not in use.
- Keep a clear space around the toaster.
- Unplug a toaster when it is not in use. The appliance can be accidentally engaged, or a malfunction can occur that causes the element to heat up and possibly cause a fire.
- Avoid using more than one heat-producing appliance at a time on the same outlet or circuit. An example would be plugging an air fryer and a toaster into the same outlet.
- Always use the toaster on a flat, flame-resistant, dry surface. Never put a cloth or paper towel under a toaster to catch stray crumbs.
- Never stick a metal knife, fork, spoon, or tongs inside the toaster slots, even if the toaster is disengaged or unplugged. The results could be shocking. Also, the element could be damaged by the sharp metal implement. A plastic utensil can melt if the unit is hot.
- Do not submerge a toaster in water or spray water on or inside the appliance.
What to do if a toaster catches fire
Any heat-producing kitchen appliance comes with some fire risk from misuse or malfunction. Fast action is required when a fire breaks out in the home since flames can spiral out of control within two minutes. Here are some steps to follow if the appliance does catch fire.
- Shut off the electrical flow to the toaster. If possible, unplug the toaster. If the fire prevents getting close to the appliance, make initial attempts to extinguish the flames as described below. Eliminating the flow of electricity to the device reduces the potential for electrical shock while the homeowner is trying to extinguish the fire.
- Have someone in the home or business call 911 to dispatch fire responders to the scene. If no one is available, dial 911 and put the device on speakerphone. Talk to the emergency dispatcher while working to extinguish the blaze.
- Extinguish the flames. Use a fire extinguisher if possible. Smother the flames with a large, wet towel if an extinguisher is not available. Avoid dousing the burning appliance with water.
- If the flames get out of control, evacuate the home or building.
- If the fire was limited to the toaster, purchase a new one. Do not attempt to use the damaged toaster. Electrical shock or another fire could result. Cut the cord off to prevent anyone from using the appliance.
How to deal with fire damage and water damage in the aftermath of a toaster fire
When a fire damage and water damage disaster happens, call the property damage cleanup and restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth. IICRC-certified technicians arrive on the scene in about an hour. The team utilizes powerful water removal and extraction equipment, heavy-duty dehumidifiers, and rapid-spin fans in the water damage cleanup process. Advanced cleaning techniques and EPA-approved products disinfect, sanitize, and deodorize the home or business. Available 24/7, 365 days a year, including holidays, SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth can handle the insurance claims process from beginning to end.