Microwave Oven Safety Tips – How to Prevent Accidents
The microwave oven, once considered a cutting-edge luxury, is now an essential kitchen appliance. More than 90 percent of US households have a microwave. They offer great convenience, especially with today’s busy lifestyles. However, like any household appliance, It can become a potential safety hazard if not used properly,. These microwave oven safety tips will help you prevent accidents while enjoying the convenience the appliance provides.
Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions
When getting a new microwave, it can be tempting to put the instruction manual in the filing cabinet right away without reading it. Don’t do it. Just because you’ve used a microwave before doesn’t mean you know how to use your new one safely. Always read the manufacturer’s operating instructions before using your new microwave.
If you’re purchasing a built-in or over-the-range microwave, it is always best to have it professionally installed. This is especially true with a new installation as opposed to a replacement installation, which is less complicated. Either way, unless you are a certified electrician or appliance technician, professional installation can prevent any potential hazards resulting from improper installation.
No Metal in the Microwave
Although it’s common knowledge, some microwave oven safety tips are worth repeating. Unlike microwave-safe cookware and containers, the electromagnetic waves can’t pass through metal and can cause the microwave to arc, resulting in sparks and even fire.
If you use recycled paper products, such as paper plates or paper towels, don’t use them in your microwave unless specified safe for microwave use. Some recycled paper products can contain tiny flecks of metal. Although you can’t see or feel them, those metal flecks can be enough to cause the microwave to arc and set the paper on fire.
When heating food or liquids in the microwave, they can heat unevenly. This can create a couple of different issues. Areas of the food may not be heated to the proper temperature, allowing bacteria to survive on the food’s surface and cause food-borne illnesses. To prevent this, stir food halfway through the cooking process and when cooking is complete. Also, let the food rest for a minute, allowing the heat to distribute evenly before eating.
The other issue created by uneven heating is hot spots. These can occur in both foods and liquids and are not obvious, especially in liquids. Use caution when consuming foods or liquids from the microwave. Stirring foods and liquids, allowing them to rest and following the heating directions on packaged food are all good microwave oven safety tips.
Additionally, don’t heat water for more than two minutes. Overheating water can cause it to boil over or erupt when removed from the microwave, resulting in scalding or burns.
Keep it Clean
While this may seem like more of a housekeeping tip, keeping your microwave clean is important to mention when talking about microwave oven safety tips. Spilled food left behind in the microwave can become a breeding ground for bacteria. It can also continue to cook with each use of the microwave and burn, possibly starting a fire
In the Event of a Microwave Fire…
Don’t open the microwave! Turn it off and unplug it. This will stop the fan from running and starve the fire of oxygen and cause the fire to burn out. Once the fire is out, let any remaining contents cool and remove with oven mitts.
Now the question now is, can you still use the microwave?
In many cases, the answer is yes. However, first, clean the microwave thoroughly. If there is no visible damage to the unit, cord, or plug, you can plug it in and test it. If the is any sparking or smoke, turn it off and unplug it.
One of the Best Microwave Oven Tips
It’s best to have your microwave checked by a professional technician to determine if it is still safe to use after a fire. Jersey Coast Appliance offers professional microwave service, and our knowledgeable sales staff will be happy to assist you should you need a replacement. For all your appliance needs, contact us today.