Kitchen fires are incredibly common, and many of them are small enough to handle without involving the fire department. But what do you do if your microwave catches on fire? This guide explains.

What to Do if Your Microwave Catches on Fire

If your microwave catches on fire, you need to address the situation immediately. That’s because kitchen fires can easily spiral out of control, resulting in significant damage to your home and your belongings.

The best way to handle a kitchen fire involving your microwave is to follow these steps:

  1. Keep the door closed
  2. Turn off the microwave
  3. Let the fire burn out

Here’s a closer look at each.

Step 1 in Putting Out a Microwave Fire: Keep the Door Closed

If the fire is inside your microwave’s compartment, leave the door closed. If you open the door, you’ll let in a flood of oxygen; oxygen makes fires grow.

Related: 4 things you probably have to throw away after a house fire

Step 2 in Putting Out a Microwave Fire: Turn Off the Microwave

Turn off the microwave as quickly as possible. If you can, unplug the appliance so that it doesn’t have a power source any longer.

Step 3 in Putting Out a Microwave Fire: Let the Fire Burn Out

Often, a fire inside a microwave compartment will burn itself out when there’s a lack of oxygen. As long as you don’t open the door and let oxygen in, many microwave fires will extinguish themselves.

Related: What can you salvage after a house fire?

What if These Steps Don’t Work to Put Out a Microwave Fire?

If the fire is already out of control and leaving the door shut while turning off the power source doesn’t work, unplug the appliance immediately. You may need to spray the fire with a Class B or Class C fire extinguisher. Don’t hesitate to call 9-1-1, either. Kitchen fires, including those that start in a microwave, can spiral out of control very quickly, and it makes sense to alert the fire department as soon as possible. If you put out the fire while waiting for them to arrive, simply call back; they’d rather you be safe than sorry.

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