Cheese on toast warning

May 2, 2014 8:00 am

We see many different causes of fires when managing insurance claims, and too many of these involve electrical appliances. We’ve written in the past about the dangers of leaving these on when you go out or when you go to bed: all too often, the incidents we deal with are caused by unattended dishwashers, washing machines or tumble driers.

But we’ve never seen anything like this before. The London Fire Brigade has had to issue safety warnings after someone started a fire – by using their toaster to make cheese on toast.

Apparently, the Londoner put the toaster on its side on a worktop, slid the cheese and bread into it, turned it on, and soon after the whole thing caught fire. Luckily the incident was dealt with quickly and the only damage was to the toaster and the work surface.

According to a spokesperson: “Toasters are not designed to be put on their side and used to grill cheese on toast. Not only does it generate heat on to the work surface….but the dry left-over crumbs from the bottom of the toaster can get on to the hot elements and ignite. I never thought I’d have to give this advice as it’s painfully obvious but if you want cheese on toast use a grill not a toaster.”

Wise words indeed, and let’s hope this is a very rare occurrence. But other electrical fires are all too common, so we would like to reiterate our advice that you should never leave an appliance running when you leave the house or retire for the night.