Can Electric Kettles Explode?

Home Safety

Electric Kettles

In a world continuously concerned about security, in which both the insurances and the price of housing are increasingly volatile, it is absolutely normal for us to be on the lookout about various safety aspects.

Domestic fires are stated at the top of the “hazards at home” list, followed by poisoning and allergies. Fires are extensively destructive for the material possessions but they can also cause great physical harm for the human inhabitants and their pets. In the following post we are looking to answer, as clearly as possible, whether electric kettles can explode or not. Also we are going to list what to look for in order to make the best of your appliance without any risk or worries.

Home Safety Check List

Many dangers threaten the tranquility of our daily lives. While it is impossible to control everything, it remains quite possible to strengthen some key points and avoid a large number of incidents.

If you pay attention to a few key aspects you can go a long way in living without incidents, in the comfort of your home. Follow our safety check list and add your own points to make sure you tackle as many aspects as possible!

The Kitchen: Beware of Burns and Cuts

Keep hot objects such as ovens, saucepans, irons out of reach, especially when you have children in the household, etc. Be aware that there are oven doors that stay cold, hob guards and oven guards if you want to further protect your child from the risk of burns. Also put sharp objects out of their reach: knives, electric knives, etc. Be careful not to let the electrical wires protrude. Unplug appliances when you’re done using them! Keep household products(particularly detergents and chemicals) out of reach of children! If you want to go the extra mile, learn to perform the Heimlich method: it is simple, effective in case of choking incidents and it can literally save lives.

The Living Room: Beware of the Risk of Fire and Suffocation

Equip yourself with a smoke detector and ensure that it complies with the general safety standards. Make sure it is well positioned (high on the ceiling, away from damp rooms, not too far from bedrooms ).
Equip yourself with a fire extinguisher, essential in the event of an unexpected outbreak of fire
Don’t overload power strips!

The Bathroom: Avoid Drowning and Electrocution

Do not leave electrical appliances connected in the presence of water (electric razor, hair dryer, etc.) Put medicines, household products, cosmetics, hygiene products out of reach. Lay down non-slip mats. Add non-slip adhesives to the bottom of your bathtub.

The Bedroom: Avoid the Risk of Choking and Falling

These tips are particularly helpful when you want to childproof the space! Remove from the space any small objects: toddlers tend to chew and swallow them and they represent a choking hazard.
Do not leave exposed electrical wires! Install safety devices on electrical outlets. Choose furniture with rounded corners.
Install gates on the stairs. Do not leave your child alone with the window open (in the bedroom or any other room).

The Garden

Clear your garden regularly! Be careful when using your barbecue. Keep shears, clippers and matches out of reach for children. Pay extra attention if you have a swimming pool.
Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children under 5 years old. It is therefore essential to be extremely vigilant. If you own a swimming pool yourself, be sure to install barriers all around the water space and equip yourself with an approved protection system.

Can Electric Kettles Explode?

After a lengthy introduction, we should cycle back to our topic: Can Electric Kettles Explode? What prevents that from happening? What should you look after in order to make sure you appliance is compliant with safety protocols?

The short and straight answer to this question is yes, electric kettles can explode, but don’t run about tossing your appliance straight away yet! Like any other electric device, kettles are prone to various risks, supported by improper use or manufacturing defects.

It is important that you keep in mind, kettles are no more of a fire risk than anything else electrical that is connected to a power source.

A good example of the situation above is this post made by an user on talk.uk-yankee.com forum:

My kettle just blew up! It was just coming to a boil and bang, a huge blue spark and water everywhere! Upon inspection, I see that the heating element has a hole in it.
Hmm,  could this possibly be caused because I have wicked limescale and I suck at keeping it clean? Or that it is a £5 kettle from Argos and its one year life expectancy has come up?
Good thing I have an excuse to get a new one in the sales tomorrow!!  
;)

What Could Make an Electric Kettle Explode?

In 2013 the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention France lead an extensive survey to ensure electric kettle safety. (original info here). From entry-level to high end brands, cheap to expensive, a total of 404 products were checked and 29 were sampled.

Ten products were declared non-compliant, including 3 non-compliant and dangerous, for unsatisfactory insulation.

While most issues revolved around less clear electrical safety and compliance warnings or information provided to consumers in their language, there were some models with serious risks of electric shock for lack of insulation of the base or the kettle, or failure of the power cable or its connection to the device.

So, if you conduct your purchase with due diligence and not jump at the first sale pop-up add, you too can make a decent acquisition and avoid unpleasant or even dangerous situations. Check out the reviews, buy from authorized sellers, make sure the product is compliant with your state’s safety protocols. Make sure you plug your appliances in an outlet that supports the necessary voltage. Do not leave any device unattended while in use, especially when you have kids in the house! There are more chances for your kettle to cause burns rather then explode, especially when you do not handle it with care.

What More Can You Do To Prevent An Electric Kettle Explode?

Apart from the diligent buyer attitude, you can make some other decent choices to ensure safety use of most appliances and tools in your household. Check the following paragraph and add your own tips, on a comment below if you feel like it!

Prevention measures:

Before using the appliance, please read the instructions manual.

Place the appliance on a horizontal surface, as far as possible from its edges, out of the reach of children. Leaving the cord dangling will allow a child to pull on it and spill the hot liquid on themselves!
Directly connect the appliance to the socket on the wall.
Choose kettles with effective safety systems on the lid closure, to reduce spillage when the appliance is tipped over. Buy models with automatic shut-off when the water gets to a boiling point.

Avoid heating other drinks

Some users may be tempted to use the electric kettle to heat various drinks (coffee, milk, hot chocolate, broth, etc.). Others would not hesitate to prepare noodles in the kettle. However, food and other drinks may damage the heating system. If you heat milk, the fat from it prevents boiling which can lead to an explosion if you let the milk heat up for several minutes.

Wait for automatic shutdown

Avoid manually controlling the shutdown if you have a cheap kettle. If you made a mistake when selecting the temperature, let the liquid reach this temperature and after that allow it to cool or warm it afterwards.

Clean the device regularly

Constant maintenance will extend the life of most appliances, saving you money on the long run and ensuring a safe experience.

After each use, it is best to rinse the device. If you have free time, drying the inside of the appliance limits the formation of scale. Apply natural solutions for cleaning.

With that being said, we can only hope we clarified as many of your concerns on the matter as possible and that you enjoy as much of your kettle as possible!

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