Microwave oven safety

Hands up if you have a family member or housemate who doesn’t really know how to use the microwave oven!

Although it’s probably a standing joke in many households – along with the one about the person who can never quite remember how to programme the washing machine – there’s a serious side to it too.

Firefighters have been called to a number of fires in recent months where the “press and hope” approach to microwave cooking, combined with an everyday distraction such as a telephone call, has resulted in a fire or a smoke-filled kitchen. The scenario often plays out like this:

  • Put food in microwave and press a few buttons until it starts making familiar and reassuring noises.
  • Answer knock at the door or telephone call.
  • Take longer than expected dealing with the above.
  • Smell smoke.

We recommend that everyone who uses the microwave oven in your household familiarises themselves with the operating instructions in the handbook.

Also, please keep an eye on what you are cooking, and turn it off if you are called away from the kitchen for what could be a significant period of time - and never put anything metal in your microwave oven.