Is It Safe To Use A Microwave After A Fire?

A microwave oven is one of the most reliable appliances in the kitchen. but, improper usage can lead to kitchen disasters. One of the kitchen disasters is microwave ovens catching fire. If it happens, you may ask, is it safe to use a microwave after a fire? Here is the quick answer.

It is safe to use a microwave oven after a fire if the external components, such as the cord and plug, are still intact. Check the plug and socket for damages and short circuits before using it.

You may have heard microwave ovens catching fire. In this post, I will give you an in-depth explanation of why it happens. You will learn how to diagnose your microwave after it catches fire. 

Is It Safe To Use A Microwave After A Fire?

Using a burnt microwave oven is safe to use if the cord and the plug are still intact. But, it may spark as you use it. A spark is a sign that a carbon trail is left in the microwave. The appliance triggers to spark because the carbon trail is conductive.

Before using your microwave oven after a fire, evaluate it based on its severity. There are three categories based on severity such as mild fire, serious fire, and severe fire.

Before or during mild fire: You notice smoke, and the material inside the microwave oven gets damaged. If the cord, plug, and electronics stay intact, you can continue to use the microwave. But you need to watch out for the spark recurrence.

For serious fire, you will notice that the entire appliance is burnt. You can use it after a technician uses it. A severe fire means it burns the entire appliance, including the cord and plug. For severe fire, the fire spreads out fast it damages an entire room.

What Happens If Your Microwave Is On Fire?

When your microwave oven is on fire, its interior and exterior get damage. In a worst-case scenario, it may blow up and damage your property.  

But why it happens? Why does your microwave catch fire?

A microwave oven on fire is a sign that you overheated your food. Overheating food means that you overestimate the heating time. If the recipe calls for reheating it longer than three minutes, you must keep an eye on it. Never leave your oven unattended if it takes longer than three minutes to reheat, cook or bake your food.

Another reason that your microwave catches fire is when its power supply gets short circuit. The power surge tricks the microwave to turn on and run. Using a non-microwavable container is another reason why your microwave burns. What happens is that the container melts, produces smoke and it builds up a flame.

So when you notice that smoke or flame builds, unplug the microwave. Do not open it until the smoke clears or the flame dies.  

Using aluminum foil is another reason why your microwave burns. Initially, you see sparks that later on burn the microwave. It is advisable to avoid using it.

What Do You Do After A Microwave Fire?

After a microwave fire, check the exterior of the microwave, cord, and plug. If nothing gets damaged, start pre-treating your microwave with an all-purpose cleaner. The char or carbon trail left inside the microwave is hard to remove. So pre-treating your microwave can make the cleaning job faster. You can use a scrub to clean stubborn char. Once you clean the microwave, check if it still works. Call a technician if it is not working. 

Will My Microwave Catch Fire?

Your microwave will catch fire if you use aluminum and non-microwavable containers. Aluminum creates a spark that blackens the walls of the microwave. When you leave it longer, it is possible to catch fire. On the other hand, non-microwavable containers melt easily that when it is overheated, it may burn and catch fire.

Apart from these materials, you must also avoid putting the materials below inside a microwave.

Recycled paper, Wax paper, and Paper towel

Avoid using recycled paper or wax paper. It may contain metal materials that can interact with a microwave. Instead, you can use paper towels that are metal-free.

When using a paper towel, unfold it to avoid trapping the heat that can trigger a fire. 

Containers, Labels, and Reminders

One of the problems that cause the microwave to catch fire is the mistake of putting the wrong container inside. Maybe someone in the family uses a non-microwavable container because he or she thought it is microwavable. To avoid it, invest in microwavable containers.

You must also encourage the people in your household to use them. If possible, place the containers in one cabinet so everyone knows where to get them. Do not forget to put a label so the items inside the cabinet will not be mixed up.

You can also put a reminder on your microwave door telling everyone in the house that they must not put metal, stainless steel, and foil inside. 


Keep your eye on the microwave when you are microwaving popcorn. Some microwave cooks fast while some take a minute longer. As a rule of thumb, do not cook the popcorn more than the time indicated in the packaging. 

Soup and Water

If you are heating water or soup, avoid filling the cup or bowl almost to the brim. A smaller container can boil the liquid for under two minutes. If you fill up almost to the brim, the liquid may end up spilling over the container.

Grapes and Chili Peppers

Grapes and chili peppers catch fire. So you must not microwave them. When grapes touch each other, it sparks and can trigger a fire. On the other hand, chili peppers contain flammable capsaicin so it is not also advisable to put it in a microwave.

Running an Empty Microwave

Running an empty microwave can damage your appliance. It can also catch fire. It happens because the oven absorbs its energy that causes the buildup of fire.

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