Microwave Oven Safety Tips

Microwave Oven Safety Tips

We spend most of the time in our home in the kitchen. It is the family meeting place, children’s homework station and of course, the place to cook and eat meals. However, the kitchen could be the most hazardous place in the home.  Cooking fires are the number one leading cause of home fires, causing over $853 million dollars in property damage between 2007 and 2011.  Microwave ovens are used on a daily basis in home kitchens, college dorms, workplaces and restaurants. The microwave is very convenient to heat up food, a nice cup of coffee or tea or even defrost a dinner. However, it can also be a potential fire hazard and could cause injuries. Scald burns are the leading cause of injuries from microwave ovens.

AKE Safety Equipment wants to keep your family safe in the kitchen. Following the simple safety tips for microwave oven use will help keep your family safe from fires and injuries.

  1. Always supervise children when they are using a microwave.
  2. Place the microwave at a safe height for use and on a stable surface.
  3. Only use microwave safe containers and utensils. Never use metal bowls or containers and aluminum foil in a microwave.
  4. Never use recycled products such as paper towels, grocery bags, newspapers or wax paper in a microwave as these material might contain metal flecks.
  5. If you have a fire in the microwave, leave the door open, turn off the oven and immediately unplug it from the wall. If the fire does not go out after doing that, call 911.
  6. Purchase a microwave oven that has been tested by an independent testing laboratory. Complete and send in the manufacturer’s registration card, so you can be reached if there is a recall on the microwave oven.
  7. Plug the microwave directly into the wall; do not plug it into extension cords.
  8. Do not leave a microwave unattended when in use. Heat build-up can cause fires. This is especially true when you make popcorn in the microwave. Follow instructions on how much time to use for the microwave and remember that cooking times and temperatures of newer vs. older microwaves will vary.
  9. Always use oven mitts when removing items from the microwave after cooking. Be careful when removing the wrapping or covering from microwaved food. Open the wrapping or cover away from the face. This is when most burns occur, because people do not realize how much hot steam is being released from the cooking container.
  10. Be careful when heating in a microwave. Microwave ovens heat items unevenly, so the cup or bowl might be very hot, but the food or liquid inside is still cold.


National Fire Protection Association

National Institutes of Health, Office of Research Services