Pulling the Plug on Your Toaster

Debating whether or not to unplug your toaster may seem a little trivial, considering all the other things most of us are thinking about these days. On the other hand, avoiding a house fire might by doing something as trivial as unplugging a toaster not be such a bad thing, considering all you have to lose to this kind of disaster.

Recently, one of our staff members averted a house fire that could have started from her toaster. A toaster that was not in use. While she was making breakfast, she was distracted by a funny noise coming from her toaster. Knowing that it nothing, she dismissed the sound. Only minutes later, she smelled smoke and realized it was coming from her toaster.   She quickly unplugged it and threw it outside in the snow.
According to Consumer Reports, her experience isn’t as unusual as you might think. In its February 2008 issue, they say that leaving a toaster or toaster oven plugged in – even when it’s not in use – is considered “risky behaviour”. A series of recalls during the last 10 years or so support this theory. In March of last year alone, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a recall of 482,000 Hamilton Beach and Proctor-Silex toasters because the toasters “can remain ‘on’ (energized) after popping up, and can ignite flammable items covering or in contact with the toaster, posing a fire hazard.”
So before you dismiss the idea of unplugging your toaster as reactionary or even a little bit obsessive, you should maybe consider the risks. What if our staff member hadn’t been in the kitchen or even at home when her toaster spontaneously turned on? Or worse? What if she and her family had been sleeping? By simply unplugging your toaster, you remove all risk of danger to you, your family and your home. 
Consumer Reports agrees, advising people to use common sense and be safe by just unplugging the thing. “Most people know they should unplug heating appliances after use”. If you really want to walk on the wild side, try an adventure sport. Just be sure to unplug your toaster before you go.

If you have any questions or would like more information on how to avoid house fires or minimize household hazards, give us a call at Fort MacLeod Agencies (1.866.333.3717). We’d be happy to chat with you.