I have no problem with leaving my slow cooker on all day when I go out and I do so 3-5 times a week. I always thought they were super safe as they are very low voltage. My specific model is 170w which is probably less than my fridge and I don’t unplug it when I go out?
However, following on from Helen’s guest post yesterday, a few people came forward saying they too were a bit nervous about leaving a slow cooker unattended as well.
I am extremely uncomfortable at the thought of leaving something cooking in the house if I’m not there……
I’m a curious soul and would never want to recommend doing something that is unsafe. So began my search for the answer to the question. I armed myself with Google but struggled to find a definitive answer.
I did find an article published in 2008 called Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment which worried me slightly. Slow Cookers are considered to be ‘portable cooking or warming devices’ and a yearly average of 9,000 fires were reported. However, you mustn’t forget that they are grouped together with coffee makers, hot plates, toasters, frying pans, kettles and pressure cookers. So, I still couldn’t work out how many fires were attributed to Slow Cookers.
So I decided to call the local fire department, don’t worry it was a non emergency number and spoke to a very helpful fire-fighter. He’s been working at the department for 10 years and
‘has never attended a fire due to a slow cooker but many which were due to dishwashers, microwaves and tumble dryers’
‘had never heard of it happening ‘
‘they are safe as they have very low wattage and the contents are contained’
I also managed to track down more info via twitter from people who work in the Fire Service or their friends and family and a few who work in insurance.
Do Slow Cookers Start Fires?
‘No incidents pertaining to slow cookers! If you think about the fire triangle (heat,fuel, oxygen) the contents inside the slow cooker Are contained thus being uber safe, electrical wise the slow cooker is ultra low voltage’ via laura Keeping
‘I work in insurance claims. Haven’t had a slow cooker fire in the 4yrs I’ve been there. Lots of chip pans.’ via Susan Cloonan
‘generally it’s tumble dryers, fridges, hair straighteners and hair dryers. I used to work for insurance company.’ via Darwin Conor
How can I make it safer?
‘As long as its used within manufacturers guidelines and approved for use in GB it’s safe as any domestic electrical appliance.’ via Herts Fire and Rescue Service
‘Slow cookers are fine if used properly. Would happily leave mine on all day. Just usual precautions as with all electrical apps.’ via Ben Levy Greater Manchester Fire Service
‘Just remember to leave in clear space and make sure there is enough food in the cooker. Apart from that enjoy the food.’ via Greenguv Firefighter
I do hope this puts you at ease but with any electrical appliance common sense and respect go a long way.