Toaster Oven Safety Tips

Written by dennis hartman
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Toaster Oven Safety Tips
When used safely, a toaster oven can become a convenient fixture in the kitchen. (Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Toaster ovens provide a convenient option for cooking a variety of foods. They use an electric heating element, like that inside a toaster, to bring the space inside to the desired temperature. Not only can toaster ovens replace conventional toasters, but they can also heat prepared foods and even perform basic baking tasks.

Keep It Clean

A clean toaster oven is less likely to be a safety hazard. Crumbs, grease and pieces of food can fall into the heating element and accumulate, posing a fire risk. Clean your toaster oven after every few uses or whenever you notice the smell of burning food in the oven or notice food falling off the tray. Ensure the toaster oven is unplugged and fully cool before you attempt to clean it.

Inspect the Cord

A toaster oven's power cord poses a risk for shocks and fire. If your toaster oven develops a frayed cord, replace the cord before using the toaster oven. In addition, see that the cord doesn't hang off your kitchen counter where children or pets could catch it and pull the hot toaster oven onto the floor.

Use Safety Signs

For older children or elderly family members, safety signs posted near the toaster oven will make it much safer for them to use. Signs can indicate what temperature certain foods need to be coked at, reducing the risk of overcooking. Post a reminder to set the timer to prevent food from remaining in the oven too long and burning or causing a fire.

Keep Oven Gloves Close by

Toaster ovens can become very hot on the inside and outside. Keep oven gloves and insulated pot holders nearby so that you don't feel tempted to reach inside the oven without proper protection.

Avoid Water

Water and electric appliances don't mix, and this holds true for toaster ovens. Never plug in or unplug the toaster oven with wet hands, and place the oven on your kitchen counter away from the sink. If your toaster oven causes a fire, do not use water to put it out; instead use a fire extinguisher.

Read the Instructions

Toaster ovens come with instruction manuals that explain the particular dangers of each model and how to use the appliance properly without putting yourself or your family at unnecessary risk. Follow the directions for setting the timer and temperature, and make slight adjustments according to your cooking needs.

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