Are fridges fireproof? (No, See Safety Tips)
Your fridge is one of the home appliances which is likely to remain to stand whenever there is a fire outbreak. Well, this does not mean the fridge is fireproof, No.
Your fridge can catch fire or burn alongside other home appliances with fire from other sources; however, the fridge will burn relatively slowly, and when the fire is extinguished early enough, then your fridge will likely be still standing.
The same does not apply to your other home appliances.
The slow rate of burning for the fridge is mainly because it is designed to have the cold frozen air-sealed in.
So, the low temperatures discourage combustion; thus, burning will still occur but slower. Well, yes, you are likely to find the fridge still standing if you are early enough, but some parts will have been burnt.
It is impossible to do away entirely with fires that occasionally occur in the homes, no matter how careful we tend to be.
The numerous electric appliances and heating sources present a threat, and a slight mismove can result in a seriously devastating effect.
Therefore, we must take caution when handling ourselves within the house, paying attention to potential risks.
One of the most misleading refrigerator factors is contributed to by the movies we watch.
In some instances, characters may be portrayed to have trust in the fridge and that the razing fire does not consume them.
This is utterly misleading, and as you read through this article, we will be learning more about how these fires may come about and the steps you should consider taking whenever such eventualities occur.
Well, let’s dive in.
Here are some of the additional factors you should have in mind as a homeowner or fridge handler.
Are Old Fridges Prone To Catching Fire?
When an appliance has been termed as old, then one of its features is faulty status, maybe wiring, or any other function-related stuff.
When there is a fault in the electric wiring system in the fridge, fire can easily be sparked.
One wrong move or sudden connection between two electric cables meant to be separate, and you will have a relatively serious electric surge.
Plastic components in some of the old fridges can also fuel the rate of burning.
Therefore, if you handle the old fridges the same way you handle the recent conventional ones, then, yes, a fire may develop.
The current modern fridges are designed with better fire prevention mechanisms than those of contemporary design.
The older one may be prone to short-circuiting effects, whereas the new ones have been designed to counteract any possible short circuit effect.
Why Does Refrigerators’ Exterior Have Higher Temperatures? Is The Fridge Overheating A Common Thing?
You may have wondered at some point why your fridge feels warm on the exterior part when you touch it.
This may extend some chills thinking your fridge is somehow faulty or overheating in a way. Well, the fridge can indeed overheat.
However, the exterior’s warm feeling is completely normal and should not be the base of your worries.
Your fridge will often feel warm on the exterior part because a lot of working process gas to be accomplished by the fridge to ensure the constant low temperature is maintained on the inside.
The low temperature, as you know, is more advantageous to you than to the fridge. Well, that is probably the main reason you acquired it in the first place.
The operating fridge carries out some process within its system, which results in the eventual expulsion of heat.
The removed heat is usually disposed of at the bottom of the fridge through the vent. When hot air rises, it affects the fridge’s body, and this is the heat you will felon your palm when you touch the fridge.
However, you may realize the heat is too much in some cases, and you can hardly feel it with your hands or any other part of the body.
That is, the temperatures are relatively high. Well, in this case, the fridge is probably overheating, and you should have the fault checked out as early as possible to prevent any uneventful eventualities.
Just ensure you hire skilled professionals to take care of your fridge maintenance once a while; this will play an adequate role in ensuring fridge fires, which are not common, by the way, are kept at bay.
When Should I Consider Replacing My Fridge?
One of the fridge factors that should give you green in doing replacements is when your fridge no longer responds to routine maintenance checks.
Once a bit of tune-up and the fix does not make your fridge maintain a direct operation line, then it is high time you replace it.
The fridge components may be worked out, and you should do away with the whole fridge and bring in a new one.
Failure to replace fridges which are not responding to maintenance may result in effects such as the fridge suddenly stalling when you least expect, thereby compromising the products you stored in there.
In a worst-case scenario, fires may develop due to working pressure on the electric components.
Since most of the fridges have plastic backings, when fires develop from the fridge, then they will burn and affect other parts of the house.
However, there are some conventionally designed fridges with metal backings that are not prone to fires and burning. When replacing your fridge, you should try out the ones with a metallic backing.
What Causes Fridge Explosions?
The main culprit of the fridge explosion is the compressor. In other words, it is the fridge’s compressor that explodes. So, what causes the explosion?
When the gas in the compressor fails to vent adequately, there is a lot of pressure created within the compressor coils; thereby, an imminent explosion follows suit.
However, you can prevent the explosion from occurring by regularly cleaning the coils and ensuring they remain clean and unclogged at all times. Doing so allows the gas to move freely as the fridge operates.
Does My Fridge Give Off Heat?
The fridge’s main function is to expel heat by moving it from one point in the fridge to another. As such a process takes place, a cold environment is provided in the fridge compartments.
As the compartments get to lower temperature, the heat removed from them and those produced within the operating parts are expelled out.
Can I Use Heat From My Fridge To Heat The Kitchen?
Well, yes. If your kitchen space is not relatively big, then the amount of heat expelled by the fridge could be adequate to warm the kitchen.
Sometimes, you can use it as a backup for the existing heating elements in place. You should note that with some fridges, their performance is so efficient that the amount of heat produced is so minimal that you may only notice it if you feel by hand.
In such cases, warming your kitchen with heat emitted by the fridge may not be possible. Thus, it would help if you considered other options.
What Are The Main Factors Associated With Fridge Fires?
The occurrence of fridge fires is not a day-to-day thing. This is to mean that you are not likely to experience fire started within the fridge frequently.
However, whenever such occur, non-metal backing and pressure build-up are the major culprits. Pressure builds up within the coils, and the compressor may result in an explosion when the issue goes without being noticed early enough and solves.
Fridge backings that are not metallic and those mainly plastic can melt when the fridge produces a lot of heat and fuel burning.
What about mini-fridges?
When we take a look at the mini-fridges, the burning may be worse and more likely to occur due to the underlying objects present beneath them.
You must ensure your mini fridge is always kept on a flat surface and that the underside is always maintained sparkling clean.
The little particles you leave underlying there could be the root cause of your home fire, unfortunately.
Another factor to consider is ensuring the mini-fridge is not kept anywhere on the top or close to the carpet.
Carpets are known to restrict airflow, which may, in turn, result in overheating. Sometimes you may be wondering why the fridge is overheating and think it could be a component problem while the whole time, you have not allowed the air to circulate freely.
However, to some extent, mini-fridges may not be so much prone to fires as normal fridges.
If you own a mini-fridge, reducing fire occurrence possibilities is not much involving as when you own normal-sized fridges.
With these, you have to pay attention to several factors. Ignoring one bit may result in a fire that you may have prevented by paying attention to one of the components and maintenance.
How Can I Tell If My Fridge Is More Likely To Catch Fire?
The design of your fridge is the first indicator as to whether the fridge is more likely to catch fire or not. And by design, I mean the material used for the backing.
The fridge’s size does not have much say here as to whether it’s big or mini; the backing will determine whether it can catch fire.
For fridges with metal backing, fire occurrence is somewhat unlikely. The same does not apply to fridges with plastic backing and other flammable materials.
Plastic will melt when exposed to heat, which normally occurs when the fridge is operating or overheating.
The fact that a fridge with metal backing does not support burning does not mean it is safe. Sometimes the fridge can overheat, therefore posing even more heat-related threats to you.
Always be aware that you are not entirely safe and should pay keen attention to the required necessary precautions.
Therefore, Is It Unsafe When My Fridge Gets Hot?
When we talk about fridges getting hot, the degree of temperature rise in consideration is different. There are temperatures which when the fridge is at then there is no cause of alarm.
However, when the temperature is higher than normal, then it should be looked into further.
If you feel your fridge with the palm and realize it is warm, then it could be possible that the fridge is just going about its cooling business as usual.
However, when you feel the fridge with your palm and realize it is too hot that you can not hold it at one point for longer, then the fridge is probably overheating. This utterly unsafe and dangerous.
Overheating the fridge does not only mean the heating components are faulty but could also mean there is a lot of pressure build-up.
In instances where pressure build-up is involved, an explosion is more likely and worse than slow fire.
The compressor coils allow air to pass through into the vent, facilitating the refrigerant’s cooling system. When the coils are not adequately maintained, they form particles within the system.
These eventually clog up and reduce the efficiency of airflow. Also, the liquids in the system will not flow as required. All this will lead to a build-up of pressure in the coil system.
Continuous pressure build-up will result in an explosion, which eventually causes a fire outbreak and related explosion hazards.
Ignoring the possibility of an explosion may not be a big deal to you since your fridge may be secured at a corner somewhere within the kitchen.
But come to think of the amount of damage it can do to your house, including the window and the ceiling.
Ignoring the precautions and safety measures is not worth all the amount you may need to renovate and replacements if such events occur.
Is It Possible For A Refrigerator To Cause A House Fire?
As long as you have electric appliances within the house, especially in the kitchen where there are lots of them, then the occurrence of fire should be one of the things to have at the back of your mind.
Therefore, just like any other electric appliance, refrigerators can also cause fires. It is not a common phenomenon, but it can occur.
Therefore, you may be wondering what precautions you may take to ensure the possibility of a fire outbreak is controlled.
You should know that switching to the fridge is not one of the wise decisions to make when you want to control fire.
The fridge is meant to preserve your food and other products for as long as you want them by maintaining low temperatures at all times.
This is only achievable when the fridge also remains operational at all times. Thus, it would help if you ruled out switching it off.
However, one of the most effective ways of keeping your fridge in check and preventing fires is by ensuring the fridge components are maintained at efficient operation conditions by performing frequent regular maintenance.
These regular checks can also enable you to identify any possible underlying issues with the fridge, which may need fixing.
You see, will stay informed with your fridge’s operation information at all time. Ensure you are safe from fires and explosions, which may result in inadequate or no maintenance.
Clean the coils and other parts to allow air adequate fluid flow within the system.
Fridge fires are not common, and often they do not result from human error. The only human error which may cause fridge fires is when the maintenance is not adequately doe or nor done at all.
However, most of these uneventful occurrences normally occur suddenly when least expected. But you can always strive to avoid what you can by simple maintenance.
How Can I Ensure My Family’s Safety from a Possible Fire Outbreak by the Fridge?
Since you may not always be aware when a fire may start due to some fridge complications or any other electric appliance for the matter, here are some of the precautions you can set in place to ensure you and your family stay safe;
- Regular maintenance; always ensure to perform regular maintenance on your fridge to identify faulty areas and fix them immediately.
- Be alert for the manufacturer’s voice; this means that you should always be alert on your fridge’s manufacture’s announcements. Sometimes the fridge is faulty, and the company may recall all the fridges made in that period or a specific model.
- Exists; Always ensure your home exists is not blocked with other stuff as you and the family may need to exit quickly when there is a fire outbreak.
- Act swiftly; whenever you think there may be a problem with the fridge, you should act swiftly and switch it off, then have a professional examine and fix potential threats before you can use it again.
Fridges are not fireproof. They can catch fire or start fire themselves. However, fridge fires are not typical and can be controlled by performing frequent routine maintenance.