Thanks to a character’s death-by-Crockpot on NBC’s This Is Us, Consumer Reports is setting the record straight on appliance fires. The non-profit consumer protection organization examined the data on appliance fires from the Federal Emergency Management Agency covering the four-year period from 2012 through 2015 (the most recent data available). In that time there were 103 fires caused by slow cookers, resulting in two injuries and no fatalities.
… But the slow cooker stats pale in comparison to the main cause of kitchen fires: ranges. In the same timeframe, ranges were the cause of 63,784 fires, which resulted in 3,834 injuries and claimed 199 lives.
… And when it comes to countertop appliances, slow cookers were responsible for fewer fires than other culprits:
• Microwaves: 3,084• Toasters and toaster ovens: 1,416• Coffee makers: 256
… The slow cooker on This Is Us was an older model and the character who gave it to Jack said, “You gotta fiddle with the switch but it works.” It also was left plugged in when the family went to bed. To make matters worse, the battery in the smoke detector hadn’t been replaced recently. Consumer Reports says, “We recommend unplugging your small appliances after every use.”