The La Crosse Fire Department offered words of warning after responding to two separate oven fire incidents Monday.
In each incident, the fire was out by the time the fire department arrived, but both involved residents who were using the self-clean function on their ovens. One of the ovens was electric, and the other was gas.
Nobody was hurt, but the La Crosse Fire Department offered the following tips for people who have an oven with the self-clean feature:
- Pre-clean the oven prior to initiating the self-clean cycle. Large chunks of food should be removed from the oven prior to starting the self-clean cycle and the oven should be hand-cleaned as best as possible.
- Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the self-clean cycle.
- Ensure you are home for the duration of the self-clean cycle. Self-cleaning ovens work by
heating the oven to upwards of 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and there are anecdotal reports of ovens reaching such high temperatures that the oven’s thermostat malfunctions or melts. In such cases, there is no controlling how hot the oven can get, and a fire may start.
- If you are presented with an oven fire, do not open the door. Opening the door will introduce more oxygen into the fire and could make the fire much worse. The best thing to do is turn off the oven’s heat, call 911, and make sure you and your family are safe.
- Make sure you have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms in your home.