While the convenience of the microwave oven cannot be overestimated, some caution should be employed when using them. Follow these simple safety tips to prevent painful burns and potential home fires:
- Always follow the manufacturer’s installation and operating instructions as well as their safety precautions before using a new microwave oven.
- Never use an extension cord, plug your microwave oven directly into a wall socket.
- Always supervise children when they are using a microwave oven.
- To minimize the risk of fire, use only microwave-safe food containers or dishes. Never use aluminum foil or metal in a microwave oven. The metal can spark a fire.
- Never attempt to dry or sterilize baby bottles, clothes or blankets in microwave ovens, as these may result in a fire once removed from oven.
- Reduce fire potential by cleaning the microwave oven regularly. Always unplug the oven when cleaning and be sure to clean the inside and outer edge of the microwave.
- Never use recycled paper in microwave ovens, unless it is specifically approved for microwave use. Recycled products, including paper towels, have minute metal flecks; these can cause sparks and even flames.
- When cooking popcorn, heat according to the instructions, begin with the minimum time specified, as some microwaves can scorch popcorn in as little as two minutes.
If your oven does catch fire, turn it off immediately and unplug the power cord if it safe to do so. Do not open the door of the microwave, simply wait until the fire dies out. Following these safety tips can help you avoid a potentially dangerous disaster.
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