A Colorado family recently experienced the scare of a lifetime when not one, but two General Electric microwave ovens caught fire while being operated. The appliance was mounted inside of a cupboard designed to house microwave ovens, and when the first fire started—and was, luckily, quickly extinguished—the owner of the appliance got rid of the microwave and replaced it with a new one of the same model. However, much to her dismay, the new microwave also ignited in flames not long after its installation. Although this fire, too, was quickly put out, the woman reported fearing for her home and family’s safety after the two incidents and decided that the third replacement microwave would be a different brand.
A microwave is a powerful appliance
We often take the safe operation of our small appliances for granted. Although microwave ovens may be compact and are designed to be easy-to-use, these cooking appliances are powerful—and when they are defective in some way, that power can easily turn into danger. A faulty cord or defective radiation emitter can cause a fire or result in serious burn injuries even when the microwave is used in accordance with manufacturer instructions.
Improper use vs. defective merchandise
It goes without saying that putting metal into a non-foil-tolerant microwave oven could have disastrous consequences. However, when consumers use their small appliances as they are meant to be used, they should not have to fear for their lives. When merchandise is defective, it can be anything from an irritating event to a hazardous one—and how is the consumer to know? The general public trusts that big-name manufacturers will have regulations in place governing quality control of their products, making them safe to purchase. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and some defective products can be harmful or even fatal when used normally.
What to do in the event of a microwave fire
If your microwave ends up igniting a fire, seek help immediately. Call the fire department and extinguish the fire using an extinguisher if possible, then vacate the home until first responders arrive. Make sure to get medical attention even if you believe you were not injured—inhaling smoke from burning plastics or rubber parts within the appliance itself could make you ill even if you were not burned. After the immediate threat of danger has passed, make sure to document the events surrounding your microwave fire, and retain all medical bills and expenses related to the fire or fixing the damages the fire may have caused. These records could help Los Angeles Product Liability attorneys with your case if you decide to file a lawsuit.
Have you been a victim of a microwave fire? Know your legal rights
A small appliance fire can cause major destruction, resulting in burn injuries and house fires. The knowledgeable Los Angeles Product Liability Attorneys at Compass Law Group, LLP can help if your defective microwave has caught fire.