Pulling the plug on your toaster

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

Recently, one of our staff members prevented a house fire that may have started with his toaster. A toaster that was not in use. While he was preparing breakfast, he was distracted by a strange noise coming from her toaster. Knowing it was nothing, she dismissed the sound. Just a few minutes later, he smelled the smoke and realized it was coming from his toaster. She quickly unplugged it and tossed it outside in the snow.
 
According to Consumer Reports, your experience is not as unusual as you might think. In their February 2008 issue, they say that leaving a toaster or toaster oven plugged in, even when not in use, is considered “risky behavior.” A series of recalls over 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 toasters “can remain ‘on’ (energized) after opening and can ignite flammable items that cover or come in contact with the toaster, posing a fire hazard.”
 
So before you dismiss the idea of ​​unplugging the toaster as reactionary or even a little obsessive, perhaps you should consider the risks. What if our staff member hadn’t been in the kitchen or even home when their toaster spontaneously turned on? Or worse? What if she and her family had been sleeping? By simply unplugging your toaster, you eliminate all risk of danger to yourself, your family and your home.
 
Consumer Reports agrees and advises people to use common sense and be safe by simply unplugging the thing. “Most people know to unplug heating appliances after using them.” If you really want to walk on the wild side, try an adventure sport. Just be sure to unplug your toaster before you leave.

If you have any questions or would like more information on preventing home fires or minimizing home hazards, please call us at Fort MacLeod Agencies (1.866.333.3717). We will be delighted to chat with you.

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