Electrical appliances are a part of our daily lives nowadays, especially in the kitchen. Whether it’s your range hood, microwave, mixer grinder, or air fryer, each runs on electricity.
Air fryers are one of the electrical appliances that we use almost daily. With the increased usage, the risk of an electrical fire also increases.
I know what you’re thinking now. Can an air fryer also catch fire? Well, yes.
Your air fryer runs on electricity, which is prone to fire hazards. An electrical malfunction, improper maintenance, or a faulty air fryer can lead to a fire in your kitchen.
That’s why it’s always recommended to properly maintain your air fryer and never leave it unattended.
Let’s look at some reasons that can lead to a fire in your air fryer. I’ll also list the precautions you can take in each case to avoid such mishaps.
Top Reasons an Air Fryer Can Catch Fire
Several reasons can lead to a fire in your air fryer. Let’s look at them.
Placing Air Fryer Near Flammable Objects
An air fryer becomes hot while running and exhausts hot air in the surroundings. Flammable kitchen objects like towels, curtains, wooden objects, cotton cloths, etc., can catch fire if placed too close to the air fryer.
Always remember the 5-inch rule. Don’t place any object within a 5-inch radius of your air fryer. If it’s flammable, keep it at a distance of 15-20 inches.
Also, remember to keep your air fryer on a heat-resistant, level surface and well-ventilated area. Don’t keep it on a wooden surface, as overheating can lead to fire quickly.
Not Reading and Following Safety Manual
A safety manual’s only purpose is to be thrown away in a bin. This is a bad practice that can cause serious trouble in the future.
The safety manual is there to be read and understood. It lists instructions for appliance set up and precautions you need to take. Go through the safety manual before you set up your new air fryer.
Read all the precautions, special instructions, hazard prevention points, and maintenance information. You’ll understand how to handle your air fryer correctly and what not to do when using it.
Using Excess Oil
Air fryers were made with one primary goal: to reduce the amount of oil used in cooking food, making it healthy. By default, air frying requires much less oil than any other cooking method.
If you use too much oil for cooking inside the air fryer, there are chances of combustion, leading to a hazardous fire.
Some food items like chopped garlic can also catch fire easily at high temperatures if dipped in excess oil. So, always remember to put only a small amount of oil when cooking in an air fryer.
Improper Maintenance & Cleaning
All kitchen electrical appliances need proper cleaning & maintenance, whether it’s cleaning a gigantic range hood or a tiny air fryer. Not doing so can lead to severe troubles in your kitchen.
The residue oil trapped underneath the air fryer basket can lead to a fire if left unchecked.
Ideally, an air fryer should be cleaned after every use to prevent oil & grease build-up inside and underneath the basket. If not daily, try to clean your air fryer thoroughly at least once every 2-3 days.
When buying a new air fryer, ask the salesperson to demonstrate the cleaning process. Also, check whether it would be easy to clean the area beneath the basket or not.
You should also keep your air fryer maintained and check for any faults from time to time. If you find any exposed, broken, or loose electrical components, repair or replace them immediately.
It can lead to an electrical shock or even a fire if sparks are coming out of it.
Using an Old or Damaged Air Fryer
If your air fryer has become damaged or worn out over time, it’s unsafe to keep using it. Old air fryers may have damaged parts inside them, creating a fire hazard.
Damaged components can also lead to electric shocks, so it’s best to repair or replace them.
If your air fryer is too old and lags a lot while cooking, it’s time to get a new one. Choose the latest model and look out for online reviews. They can help you validate your choice.
Using Flammable Materials Inside the Air Fryer
Once, a friend used paper plates inside the air fryer to heat the fries he ordered online. The plate caught fire while the air fryer was running, but he was able to control it.
Materials like paper or plastic cups, plates, etc., can catch fire at high temperatures. So, you should avoid putting such materials in your air fryer basket.
Instead of paper or plastic plates, you can use silicone, glass, or ceramic utensils as they’re safer and won’t catch fire easily.
Leaving Air Fryer Unattended
Leaving your air fryer unattended while running is a big mistake that can lead to a fire hazard.
Recently, a lady from Manchester left her air fryer unattended for a few minutes while running. When she returned to the kitchen, the air fryer was on fire.
Acting immediately, she somehow picked it up and threw it outside her home. The air fryer ultimately burst into flames seconds after that. Her whole house would have burned to ashes if she had been late even by a minute.
An air fryer is an electrical appliance that produces much heat while working. You should never leave your air fryer unattended when cooking something in it.
Not Unplugging Your Air Fryer After Use
This is where many air fryer users become careless and always keep their air fryers plugged in.
Electrical appliances can draw power from the socket even when the switch is turned off. This can lead to a fire if there are electrical faults.
Electricity is not stable all the time and can experience surges & fluctuations. Even a surge protector can sometimes fail if there’s a fault in the electric line. And this can lead to a fire easily.
So, when using your air fryer, remember to unplug its wire from the socket after use. You drastically reduce the chances of a fire if you do so.
If you read the instruction manual, it clearly mentions that you should always unplug your air fryer after use.
Wrong Cooking Techniques
If you’re a new air fryer user, then always be careful with how and what you cook inside your air fryer. Cooking in the wrong way can also lead to a fire inside your air fryer basket.
The first thing to take care of is the temperature at which you cook your meals. Some recipes don’t require too much heat; if you set the temperature too high, the food item can ignite, causing a fire.
The other thing you should take care of is not overloading your air fryer basket. Putting too many food items in the basket will block the airflow inside the fryer.
Due to this, the food at the top will heat a lot and ignite if there’s excess oil.
Overloaded air fryer baskets can also cause food items to come in contact with the heating unit or the fan. This can be fatal for the air fryer and also for you if a fire breaks out from the heating unit.
Faulty Air Fryer
The worst thing that can happen is buying a faulty air fryer. There have been several cases where the air fryer units of reputed brands have proved defective.
In the first month of 2023, there were several complaints from all over the United States about COSORI air fryers. Buyers complained that their new COSORI air fryer was overheating, producing sparks, and some even melted while in use.
This led to COSORI recalling 2 million air fryer units from the market. The company also replaced the products with a better one or another product of the same value for those who had already bought it.
Contact the brand service center if your air fryer acts weirdly or you experience abnormal overheating, sparks, or a fire. Tell them about the problem in detail and ask them to come to your home to inspect the issue.
You can also ask for a replacement if the air fryer keeps behaving like this.
What to do If the Air Fryer Catches Fire?
Even after you follow all the suggestions, there’s always a small risk of your air fryer catching fire. The use of electricity always comes with a slight risk sometimes.
If your air fryer catches fire, here are some tips for handling it carefully so that the fire doesn’t spread to your home
- If you notice any sparks or flames coming from your air fryer, you must first unplug it.
- Use a wooden spatula or stick to turn off the switch immediately. Then, use a thick cotton cloth to hold the air fryer’s plug and pull it out from the socket.
- If the fire persists, spray the whole air fryer with a fire extinguisher. NEVER use water to put out an electrical fire as it can cause an electric shock.
- If the flames still persist, take a thick woolen blanket and wrap it entirely around the air fryer. Then you can pick up the air fryer and take it outside your house.
- You can keep it on the grass and use your fire extinguisher again to put out the remaining flames.
- If the fire is still going, or you can’t control it inside the kitchen, call for help immediately. Call the fire department ASAP. You can also ask for help from your neighbors.
Air fryers have made our lives easier in the kitchen. However, electrical equipment always has a small risk of catching a fire.
So, the best thing for you is to use your air fryer with all the precautions and never leave it unattended. Also, you should be careful about what you put inside the air fryer and how you cook it.
If your air fryer catches fire, use a fire extinguisher to control the fire immediately and call the fire department. Have a safe & happy cooking experience!