Can Air Fryer Catch Fire or Explode? What to Do if Air Fryer Catches Fire?

I just finished a fire safety workshop. It made me think about everything that could catch fire or explode in my home.

I decided to do away with unnecessary anxiety and discover potential possibilities. 

My first interest was in electrical appliances. Anything that creates/generates heat has more chances of catching fire.

The one appliance I use daily is my air fryer. I wonder if it can catch fire or explode? Also, What to do if the air fryer catches fire? 

Can Airfryer Catch Fire or Explode?

In general, air fryers are a pretty safe appliance for you. You don’t get exposed to the heat or the heating element.

However, nothing is perfect in our little world. In April 2022, over 700,000 air fryers got recalled after many people (over a hundred) from the United States and Canada reported air fryers catching fire, and melting.

The leg of a child got injured due to overheating of the appliance. 

The air fryers recalled in the united states were sold from 2018 to 2022 and belonged to the Insignia brand.

As for exploding, here is a little story on how an air fryer exploded due to a consumer’s fault. She switched on the stove while the air fryer was on top. 

Let me ease you up a bit here. As long as you read the manual and follow the instructions, you are safe.

Let us look at reasons why an Airfryer could catch fire or explode. 

What Causes an Airfryer to Catch Fire or Explode? 

I delved into researching different possibilities, and have boiled it down to three : 

  • An Electrical Failure 
  • Overheated Air Fryer
  • Faulty Maintenance

An Electrical Failure 

Wherever there is current, there is a possibility of fire or explosion. 

The most common reasons for an electric failure in an air fryer are :

  • Faulty electrical outlet connection.
  • Damaged Cord of the air fryer 
  • Fault inside the control board receptacles 
  • Damaged Power switch 

When it comes to a faulty electrical outlet connection, the absence of a ground plug in the air fryer increases the fire risk.

The current flows from the outlet into the air fryer and back into the electrical outlet.

If there is a damaged Cord, a damaged Power switch, or any loose connection inside the Airfryer, it could cause a short circuit and fire. 

Also, the outlet should have enough amps for carrying current inside and outside the Airfryer.

If there is insufficient current flow, the air fryer tends to overheat and damage the internal components inside, accelerating the possibility of fire. 

Sometimes the fault lies with the control board receptacles. Whenever there is a blockage or an abnormal flow of current inside the Airfryer,  it can catch fire or explode. 

A short circuit damages the power switch. You can see black or burnt marks on the switch outlet. There will also be a burning smell of plastic. 

Overheated Air fryer 

An air fryer generates heat inside to cook food. This heat comes from drawing current inside it. The electronic components inside the air fryer transfer current into the heating element. 

When current runs through the electronic components, some amount of heat is generated within the components. This is called electronic heat. 

As the air fryer continues cooking under power, the electronic heat continues to build and adds up to overheat the air fryer. 

The overheating here will be from the electric components, not the heating element. 

A sign of overheating is smoke coming out, and the air fryer is hotter to touch compared to usual.

Faulty Maintenance 

Yes, it is true.  If you do not maintain your Air fryer with regular cleaning, it could catch fire. 

The building up of food residues or grease can be harmful. They can even block the vents. The oil can heat up, catching fire. 

With a choked valve inside, the heat will have nowhere to escape, blowing up your air fryer. 

A Helpful Tip 

A burning smell of metal or plastic is a warning sign for electrical fires. Sometimes the smell is accompanied by blue smoke

If your circuit breaker keeps tripping when you use the Airfryer, it means a part within the appliance has got damaged.

It could be the cord, the switch, or any electronic components inside the air fryer.  

How to Avoid a Fire in The Air Fryer 

Let us discuss what you can do to prevent your air fryer from catching fire or exploding.

Purchase a Branded Air Fryer 

 Buy an air fryer from a known brand. Your safety is worth the money. Good brands do a lot of testing on the build and programming as their brand name depends on it. 

Avoid buying a cheap local model. You can’t be too sure of its safety. 

There is always a possibility that the manufacturer didn’t cover the finer details or skipped a few essential safety checks. 

No Second-Hand Models

Avoid buying a second-hand air fryer. The connections inside could be worn out or loose. The outlet valve could be choked.

All these can lead to an explosion, burning, or melting of the air fryer. 

Don’t Overcrowd the Basket 

Dumping a lot of food in one go is hazardous. The air space gets confined and is not able to move freely. Lack of air movement triggers overheating of the air fryer. 

As the food does not cook evenly, the air fryer sends more heat to work hard and cook food, leading to overheating.

Cook with Minimum Oil 

An air fryer needs only a teaspoon of oil for cooking crisp food. Do not add a lot of Oil.

Oils heated at high temperatures can always catch fire. Excessive oil collected can stick inside the chamber, on the walls, and on the heating element, increasing the chances of fire. 

Unplug/Disconnect the Cord From the Socket 

Sometimes a defect in the power outlet or any loose connection in the cord wire will cause the air fryer to heat up continuously. Overheating is a disaster waiting to happen.

Even a short circuit caused by damaged wires or plugs can cause your air fryer to catch fire or blow up. 

Although air fryers turn off the heat supply after cooking, you must end the program and disconnect the cord removing the possibility of overheating and fires. 

Do Not Leave Air Fryer Unattended for Long 

An Airfryer can be left alone till it cooks. You cannot leave it on and unattended for more than 30 mins. It is not a slow cooker and is not built to maintain slow heat for many hours. 

Anything like a power surge or overheating can cause your Airfryer to blow up or catch fire. 

The best way to steer clear of overheating and electrical failures is to switch off your appliance in time and never leave it unattended. 

If anything happens, you can quickly overcome it by watching out for some warning signs like the smell of burning, blue smoke, discoloration of the outlet switch, etc. 

Keep Your Air Fryers Clean  

As I mentioned earlier in the article, build-up grease inside the air fryer can lead to fires and explosions. 

Make sure to clean up all the nooks and crannies. Wipe a clean cloth over the heating element to remove excess residue and grease. Make sure there is no food lodgment blocking the valve of the air fryer. 

What to Do if Air Fryer Catches Fire?

The chances of your air fryer catching fire are negligible if you follow the points above and read your manual. 

But knowledge is power, and we must always overcome the unknown with power. Here is what to do : 

Unplug Your Air fryer 

The first step is to disconnect the electrical connection to your air fryer.

There are high chances that your air fryer would have automatically shut down as an inbuilt protective feature.

However, it is best to leave nothing to chance and disconnect the cord. 

Use a Wet Towel 

If the fire is in the initial stages, throw a wet towel over your air fryer.

If you do not have time to wet the towel, throw a dry towel over your air fryer.  

Call 911 

If the fire doesn’t die down in a minute,  call 911. The fire professionals will come and help in giving you back a safe environment at home. 

According to Larry Raunch from Bergen County Fire Academy ” Fire doubles every 60 seconds, the longer you delay, the more it will spread”. 

The next step after calling 911 would be to extinguish the fire. 

Use a Fire Extinguisher 

Always keep a fire extinguisher in your home for the kitchen. If any accident happens, all you have to do is use it to extinguish the flames. 

Make sure there is an open door nearby so you are between the fire and the open door so you can run out.

To use the fire extinguisher, follow the pass method. 

  • P- Pull 
  • A- Aim 
  • S- Squeeze the trigger on top 
  • S- sweep side to side 

For more details, watch the video here

If the fire is getting bigger and you are not able to control it, run outdoors. 

To know more about using fire extinguishers watch the video below:

Summing Up 

An air fryer is an electronic gadget. It uses electricity to create heat inside the chamber. Any appliance carrying an electric current is at risk of fire and explosion. 

The most common reasons for fire or explosion are electric malfunctioning, overheating, and improper usage and maintenance.

I have written in detail about how to steer clear of danger. I can’t stress enough the importance of reading your manual. Follow the instructions of the manufacturer, and you will be safe! 

I have also mentioned what you must do if your air fryer catches fire. We should always prepare ourselves to deal with crises.

Avoiding the possibilities is good but knowing how to deal with them when you face them is better.  Fires, no worries! 

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