A toaster is an essential item in any kitchen, but like most electrical gadgets they pose a risk if used incorrectly.
- When buying a new toaster, always buy from a reputable dealer, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on using and cleaning.
- Always register a new toaster 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 register all your appliances, regardless of age, visit Register My Appliance.
- Use our free online 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 have the retailer fit the appliance with a UK plug.
- 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 generally 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 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 to raise the alarm.
- Never stick anything into a toaster – you’ll be risking a severe electric shock.
- Make sure you clean out the crumb tray frequently. This will help keep your toaster working properly and prevent fire.
- If you notice an odd smell or any sparking, unplug the toaster immediately and contact the retailer and/or manufacturer.
- Always store the toaster away from the sink or any liquids that could spill on it.
- When the toaster is turned off at the socket or unplugged, wipe the toaster down regularly, but never use water or any sort of cleaner inside it.
- If it’s cracked or damaged in any way, stop using it and either contact the retailer and/or manufacturer or buy a new one.
- Always turn off the toaster at the socket when not in use.