Seasonal Simple Safety Steps

A good way to begin a day is with a hearty breakfast.  A staple of many morning meals is toasted bread or bagel.  Also a toaster that is reluctant to “release a piece of toasted bread becomes a dangerous safety threat.  The Newtown Square Fire Company, a 100-plus year community protection organization began it toaster safety suggestion with a simple statement, “Avoid possible life-threatening dangers and a possible dangerous fire through the simple ‘remove the danger by unplugging the toaster’.”

Newtown Square’s Fire Chief Doug Everlof added, “Far too often, there are reports of hungry toast makers trying to dislodge a piece of stubborn of bread or a bagel by using a fork, a knife or some other available metal kitchen device, all without removing the electrical danger. This is simply done by removing the appliance’s plug from the wall receptacle. Once the electrical danger is eliminated, there are several simple ways to retrieve the item being toasted.’

Using the commercially available, non-metallic tools constructed for the safe removal of jammed food items lodged in the toaster is far better than using metal eating or cooking utensils.  Always be gentle in this removal process.

Echoing his safety concerns from previously shared comments, Deputy Fire Chief George Guyer IV volunteered, “Even when a removal of food is done with an ‘unplugged toaster’ there are other dangers.  By using any rigid removal tool, the unseen, obscured heating wires can be moved from internal supports. When the toaster is used after the unrecognized, unintentional moving of the heating elements can either make unwanted alteration to pattern of the heating wires or an unwanted heating wire contact with the metal case of the toaster. “

Both events can be dangerous. The changes in the wiring patterns can result in fire. The unseen contact by any of the dislodged heating wires and the metal shell of the toasting device can result in the possibility of an electric shock or produce a fire.

Commenting on the combined activities of the holiday period, Chief Doug Everlof added, “Simple, but effective safety steps are key ingredients in both fire and injury prevention. This is the time of the year for fun and family, not for injuries or fires.  Please include safety in all of the family’s activities.”

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