In the U.S., an average of 172,900 (per year) fires occur in the kitchen. Firefighters are called to extinguish a kitchen fire every few minutes on average. These fires can easily spread and cause damage to other parts of the home.
While cooking tops the list of common causes of kitchen fires, faulty wiring is responsible for more than a quarter of all fires and is one of the most likely sources for home electrical malfunctions. in this article, we are going to look at whether or not refrigerators are fireproof and what you can do in case it catches fire.
Are refrigerators fireproof?
The answer is no, but most refrigerators are designed to withstand a small fire. It’s worth noting that the age of your refrigerator can prove vital in the event of a small fire, as older refrigerators are less likely to survive than newer models.
Typically, most home fires are caused by cooking-related activities. While some may begin in the kitchen, they often spread to other parts of the home. Refrigerators can be an important point of prevention for these fires because they remove potentially flammable materials from where they might otherwise ignite combustible items and start a chain reaction into full-blown house-fire mode.
In a small percentage of fires, the origin of the fire is not combustible cooking materials, but electrical. In this case, an electrical malfunction will often cause the refrigerator to emit smoke or catch on fire. Some examples of faulty wiring can include:
- Faulty thermostats that don’t turn off when they reach set temperatures
- Short circuits: caused by loose or frayed wires, or old wiring with many years of use.
- Defective parts: caused by poor manufacturing or careless assembly by untrained workers.
- Overloads: Too many connected devices that tax an electrical system beyond its capacity.
Fires caused by faulty wiring have been more common in older homes with wooden construction. However, modern construction has made wooden construction obsolete in most cases.
If you see smoke or smell anything unusual coming from the fridge, it’s important that you contact a qualified electrician immediately to check the wiring and test for electrical safety issues.
What causes a fridge to catch fire?
While electrical malfunctions are suspected as the cause of major house fires every year in Australia, these fires are typically caused by defective parts or faulty wiring and not by gas-powered fridges.
Refrigerators that do catch fire most often build up too much heat and burn out the insulation surrounding the appliance causing it to become extremely hot. Most fires caused by gas leaks are often located behind the appliance or in an inaccessible interior space.
How do I stop my fridge fire?
There are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of having your refrigerator catch on fire. First, it’s important that you replace cooking materials as soon as they are used to avoid leaving too many flammable materials in one place for too long.
If you are using an electric stove, be sure to keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case the stovetop turns into flames. Never leave cooking unattended and never leave a room or house unattended while food is cooking.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests that appliances should be at least 10 feet away from anything that could burn. Keep flammable liquids and cleaning products on the other side of the room from your fridge.
Can you extinguish a fridge fire?
If your fridge catches fire, don’t be afraid to use your extinguisher to help put out the flames. Most fridges have a built-in water supply and carbon dioxide extinguishers are generally sufficient for most small fires.
Contact a trained professional if the flames are not completely out, or if you still smell smoke or burning. Your risk of injury increases the longer you attempt to fight the fire yourself. Carbon monoxide released from a refrigerator on fire can quickly choke you and will kill anyone sleeping nearby.
What should You do if your fridge catches fire?
It’s important to know what to do in the event that your refrigerator catches on fire.
- Call the fire department immediately. If you don’t have their number, find an address for the nearest fire station from this list or call 000. If you are too far away to call 000, call 911 and stay with the appliance so the fire department can arrive as soon as possible.
- Stay away from flames. Never try to douse a fire yourself, no matter how small it is. In addition, confine any pets or children in another room so they can’t walk into a burning appliance.
- Be sure to stay away from the smoke. While most of your cooking materials may be safely out of the range of fire, it’s important that you remain clear of toxic smoke. If possible, do not reenter the room to rescue any items that might be on fire.
- Leave the area immediately when advised to evacuate by emergency responders. Make sure you know where all exits are located and what precautions you should take ahead of time so you can safely leave once evacuation orders are given.
yes, the refrigerator will catch fire if faulty wires are installed. it is rare but I think this is the case. Refrigerators were never meant to be used as a place for storing food that can easily burn like candle wax.
If you need to store foods with flammable liquids, baked goods, etc., make sure they are in a cool dry place in your kitchen and not in your fridge. The reason home fires are so common is that people keep foods on burning candles close to their fridges.
Agnes is a kitchen and cooking enthusiast as well as a fitness fanatic. She loves to help readers upgrade their kitchen with the best available products!