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Tips for Preventing Induction and Electric Cooktop Fires

With the rapid development of technology, different kinds of electrical appliances have greatly improved the quality of life. However, electrical appliances also increase the risk of fires if users do not read instruction manuals carefully and comply with safety regulations.

A total of 3,441 electrical fires, accounting for 29.7% of all fires, occurred in Taipei City in the past 5 years. 50.6% of them were caused by short circuits, and 8.7% of them were caused by improper use. Among this 21.5%, the most common appliances are induction cooktops and electric cooktops, with 23.2% and 21.5% respectively. Taipei City Fire Department stated that the situations in the improper use of induction and electric cooktop fires include food being overcooked, oil overheating, and turning on the heating button /knob by accident.

In April this year, a fire occurred in Daan District, caused by improper use of electric cooktop, resulted in one injury. Investigation showed that a man was heating the soybean oil to fry food, but left the kitchen while heating. When he was back, the oil in the pan had already caught fire. Though the fire was extinguished, he suffered from some burns when trying to move the pot. The smoke point of soybean oil is 160 to 180℃. Once the heating temperature of soybean oil reaches 160 to 180℃, the oil will break down and start smoking. The maximum temperature in the center of electric cooktop could reach 600℃. If the oil is continuously heated, it may ignite. Another fire case occurred in Neihu District in August (2022) showed that the heating button was accidentally turned on without awareness, causing the surrounding materials to ignite.

The Fire Department reminds the public that when using induction or electric cooktops, one should be attentive to the fire and avoid any distractions. If the cooking oil or ingredients in the pot catch fire, turn off the power immediately and cover the pot with a lid. Besides, one should avoid placing objects on top of the cooktops, especially on the embedded induction one. Without the height difference between cooktops and desktops, it is easy to turn on the heating button by accident. 

Induction and electric cooktops are common household appliances. Develop good cooking and living habits could avoid fires caused by improper use. People should also check whether there are product CNS mark on appliances before purchasing. Finally, follow the principles of “5 don’ts and 1 no” for electrical fire prevention-don’t overload, don’t damage wires, don’t dampen or soil, don’t plug in when not in use, don’t buy or use products without a safety label and no combustibles nearby.  Check the safety of electrical products in bedrooms and living rooms regularly. By cultivating good habits, we can create and maintain a safe living environment.