Slow cookers are a low-maintenance, easy way to create delicious meals without having to hover over the stove all day. Just throw the ingredients in and switch it on, then go about your business! However, it’s important to be aware of the safety risks when it comes to using a slow cooker, particularly if you plan to leave it on while you’re out of the house.
Slow Cooker Safety
- When buying a new slow cooker, always buy from a reputable dealer, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Always register a new slow cooker with the manufacturer. That way you can be contacted easily if a safety notice or recall is required. While the chances of a faulty product causing serious damage are small, the risk is still there and returning a faulty product or ordering its repair is very easy to do. To find out more information about registering your appliances, regardless of age, visit our Product Registration page.
- Use our free online Product Recall checker to see if you have any recalled electrical items.
- Check that your appliance has a UK plug, but if it doesn’t, do not use a UK travel adaptor, but rather seek advice from the retailer.
- Do regular checks of the plug and socket for burn marks, sounds of ‘arcing’ (buzzing or crackling) or if it feels too hot to touch. If you have fuses blowing or circuit-breakers tripping then contact a registered electrician to investigate.
- Ensure your home is fully protected by an RCD (residual current device), which can be found in your fuse box (also known as a consumer unit). An RCD is a life-saving device that protects against dangerous electric shock and reduces the risk of electrical fires.
- If you don’t have RCD protection in your fuse box for your sockets, consider installing an RCD socket or use an RCD plug to protect you and your property from serious appliance faults.
- Sometimes, appliance fires are caused by something beyond your control. Smoke alarms and heat detectors are essential in keeping you safe by raising the alarm in the event of a fire. There should be a minimum of one alarm/detector per floor and fit enough to cover all areas where a fire could start, and make sure they are tested regularly.
- If a fire does start, don't try to fight the fire. Get out and call 999 immediately.
- If you notice a burning smell or any unusual noises, switch the slow cooker off immediately and contact the retailer and/or manufacturer.
- Always set the slow cooker on a heat-proof surface.
- Pull the slow cooker at least six inches away from the wall, and keep the power cord away from the edges of your appliance.
- Don’t fill it too high or too low – check the manufacturer’s instructions but typically it should be one half to three-quarters full.
- If you want to leave the house while the slow cooker is running, set it on low. Save the high heat option for when you are in the house.
- Always turn off the slow cooker at the socket when not in use.