Tuesday, April 10, 2018

A Kitchen Warning

Last fall, I looked outside to see two fire trucks. I first smiled as one of my closest friends on and off blog is gun blogger PA State Cop who has also worked as a firefighter in addition to his military career. He always teases me about showing up with a fire truck at my house as he restored an old antique one he bought and since he stays at the Range when he's in the area, it honestly wouldn't surprise me.

My husband looked out and grinned and said "so, is P.A. here?"

No, this was a new city truck.  It was a kitchen fire at a neighbor's - fortunately handled quickly with only some minor smoke damage as the homeowners had a small portable extinguisher to get a handle on it as the fire department was called.

But I remember it well.  I also remember a colleague's house that burned to the ground, killing his furry best friends, when a toaster that had refused to spit out the toast that morning was off but not unplugged when he left after his wife to go to work. An hour later, everything they owned and their four-legged family were gone.  Fire investigators said the defective toaster shorted out, igniting some flammables nearby.  In a country setting with no neighbors to see it and call for help, it was too late to save it or its animal occupants by the time the smoke was seen from a nearby road.

I often cook with a crock pot, the perfect thing for starting before work and have dinner ready when I get off work (I telework 90% of the time).  But lately, it had been acting up, the low setting not being low anymore but much warmer, almost as if it was the high setting as well.  I  simply adjusted my cook times, starting it when I got home from work at 3 and other than the heat, seemed to work fine.

Two days ago, I was getting ready to put some chicken in before leaving the house to run some errands and I just felt this little voice inside that said, "don't leave it on today ".  So I unplugged it and when I returned a few hours later, I just cooked the chicken on the stove
The next day, teleworking, I plugged it in as I went to assemble meatloaf.  I smelled a sudden electrical smell, ALL the crock pot lights were on, the low/high/4 hour/8 hour/warm/and off and my crockpot was suddenly almost smoking hot!

I quickly unplugged it and carried it out to the cement driveway with oven mitts and ordered a new crockpot from Amazon.
So folks - if you ever had a small appliance that suddenly does not work as expected - get RID of it.  I also recommend unplugging small appliances if you are gone for an extended time.

Some things aren't worth risking.

7 comments:

  1. My sister-in-law was in her kitchen, when the toaster oven shorted and started burning. She was not using it, so her being there was good fortune.

    Since then, my wife, and I, unplug appliances of this type, when not in use.

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  2. Good advice. We have a space heater than ought to be tossed for similar malfunctions.

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  3. Reminds me of my Mom, who was a World Class Worry Wart.

    I lost count of the numbers of times she made Dad turn around and go back to check something. It was either "I think I left a burner on the stove turned on", or "I didn't close all the windows", or, here favorite, "I think I left a cigarette burning".

    Dad used to so furious with her that he made a checklist of things to secure before we left!

    And I think these are the first pix I've seen of the kitchen remodel since you (temporarily) 'went dark'.

    Looks very nice!

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  4. Oh, yeah. Reinforced by a pic a local fire station posted when they plugged in their own space heater and the electrics around the controls went up in fire.

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  5. Excellent point! And that's right up there with cleaning the lint out of the dryer hoses... sigh...

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  6. I remember cooking a turkey for Thanksgiving, when all of sudden my instincts kicked in as I heard the noise of fat splattering, this is not normal. I tried to open the stove not happening, it had locked, I went to the basement and pulled the stove breaker. When the stove finally cooled enough it unlocked to let me in the oven. The turkey was great the stove not.

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