Person Using Coffee Maker

Are Coffee Makers a Fire Hazard?

Coffee makers are one of the most popular appliances in the world. They’re in our homes, offices, and just about every other type of building. But are they a fire hazard? What causes coffee maker fires? And how likely is a coffee maker to start a fire? In this article, we will answer all of those questions and more.

Is a Coffee Maker a Fire Hazard?

Judging by the reported home structure fires and the top causes, it’s safe to say that coffee makers can be a fire hazard in the home.

According to NFPA, an average of 346,800 homes experience a structural fire each year. And data from FEMA shows that the top three causes of these fires in the home are heating equipment, cooking, and electrical malfunctions.

While these reports don’t isolate coffee makers as the top three causes of home fires, they are electrical appliances that can fall between heating and cooking and pose the risk of malfunctioning and overheating. The potential for fire is why it’s essential to be aware of the hazards associated with coffee makers and take precautions to prevent a fire.

What Causes Coffee Maker Fires?

There are several reasons why a coffee maker could start a fire. If you’re aware of these reasons, you can take steps to avoid them in the first place, reducing your risk and keeping your home safe.

Some of the most common reasons include overheating, faulty wiring, blockages in the appliance, and an unclear space.

Overheating

The most common reason coffee makers can catch fire is overheating. When an appliance like this overheats, it can cause the wiring to melt or catch fire. These issues can happen for several reasons, such as if a person leaves the coffee maker on for too long or places it on a surface that doesn’t allow proper ventilation.

Faulty Wiring

Another common reason for coffee maker fires is faulty wiring. If the appliance wiring is defective or damaged, it can create a fire hazard.

It’s vital to ensure you have correctly installed the machine to avoid these risks. Have any electrical work done by a qualified professional.

If you notice something that doesn’t seem right with your coffee maker, don’t use it and call a professional to have it checked out. You could also call your manufacturer and request a replacement if you don’t feel safe using your current model.

Blockages in the Appliance

Another potential hazard is blockages in the appliance. If something is blocking the flow of air or water—like old coffee grounds—it can cause the appliance to overheat and start a fire.

espresso dripping from machine

Be sure to clean your coffee maker regularly and check for any blockages that could cause a problem.

An Unclear Space

Finally, keep your coffee maker in a clear space. If anything is blocking the vents on the machine, it can cause the appliance to overheat and start a fire.

Anything flammable touching the hot plate, such as a paper towel or extra filter, could also catch fire and lead to terrible consequences. Be sure to keep your appliance in a well-ventilated area and clear any clutter that could pose a hazard.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a Coffee Maker Overheat?

As we mentioned, overheating is one of the most common reasons for coffee maker fires. If your appliance starts to overheat, it’s crucial to take action immediately to avoid a fire. Keep it clean, clear any blockages, and never leave it on for extended periods. If you notice that your machine is starting to overheat, turn it off immediately and unplug it from the outlet.

How Likely Is a Coffee Maker To Start a Fire?

While we can’t give you a definitive answer, we can tell you that coffee makers pose a potential fire hazard in the home. While the chance of a home fire started by one is rare, 43 consumers reported smoke or fire from their coffee machines in 2017 and 2018, so it’s not impossible. You can reduce your fire risk by taking precautions to prevent overheating and blockages.

Stay Caffeinated Safely

While coffee makers are relatively safe, they can still pose a fire hazard in the home. To reduce risk, keep your coffee maker clean, clear any blockages, and never leave it on for extended periods. You should also ensure that your appliance has a clear space around it and that anything flammable is away from the hot plate. If you take these precautions, you can enjoy your java without worry.

If your home has already suffered damage from an electrical fire, don’t try to clean it up alone. Trust the remediation experts at All Dry USA to handle the hard work so you can begin getting your house back to the home you love. Get in touch today.

Ben Suiskind
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