Have you ever gone out only to rush back home to turn off the coffee maker you accidentally left on? You probably felt like you dodged a bullet there. Well, what if you didn’t remember and the machine stayed on all day? Would it have caught on fire and burn your house down? Can a coffee maker cause a fire?
Fortunately for you, the chance of a coffee maker causing a fire is quite rare because most of these machines come with an automatic shutoff feature. You’re likely to come home to a burnt pot of coffee in most cases.
We’re going to explore further into whether coffee makers pose any fire hazard or not. So, keep on reading!
What’s an “Automatic Shutoff Feature”?
It’s not unusual for someone to forget to turn a coffee maker off before leaving the house. Even the most careful person can make that mistake if they’re in a hurry.
Coffee maker manufacturers understand that very well, so to protect their customers, they came up with a safety feature designed to automatically turn the machine off.
Every coffee maker nowadays comes with an automatic shutoff feature. It’s rare to see one that doesn’t. Even the ones made within the last 30 years feature thermal overload protection for safety. You can easily tell whether you’ve got this feature or not by checking the packaging or asking the manufacturers just to be sure.
This feature works by detecting inactivity. After a specific period, a coffee maker with an automatic shutoff system will turn off by itself. It will shut down completely to prevent itself from burning or causing a fire. So, even if you forget to turn it off, the machine won’t!
Most of the devices will shut off within 2 to 4 hours. This feature also helps in reducing your electricity bills. You should still make a habit of shutting your coffee maker before going outside.
What If Your Coffee Maker Lacks the Automatic Shutoff Feature?
Well, we would suggest that you should get rid of that old machine and invest in a new coffee maker that boasts an automatic shutoff feature. It’s an essential feature that will keep your house safe from potential fire hazards.
However, if you have to stick with that device, there are some safety precautions that you can rely on.
One thing you can do is use a loud timer that goes off a couple of minutes after you start brewing coffee. It will remind you to power the machine off. Making a checklist and placing it on your door to remind you to turn all your electronic devices off can be helpful too.
Consequences of Leaving a Coffee Maker on for an Entire Day
So, what could happen if the coffee maker stays on for a long time? The consequences can be severe depending on how safe the machine is designed to be. Here are the potential incidents that are likely to occur if your coffee maker doesn’t have an automatic shutoff feature or fails to turn off in time.
- Burnt Coffee
If there is any coffee left in the coffee maker, it will keep getting heated. Soon enough, it will become strong and thick. You will come home to a pot of coffee that tastes burnt and bitter. That’s definitely not something you would want to drink! However, it can actually protect your machine.
- Damaging the Machine
As soon as the coffee left in the machine is completely evaporated, the heat will start damaging the coffee maker itself. The bottom of the pot will get damaged the most. It might get cracked or shattered. You might have to replace the pot later.
- Spike in Electricity Bills
Coffee makers run on electricity, so if they’re left on for a long time, you will see a spike in your electricity bills. They’ll waste your electricity. If it happens on a regular basis, you will have to spend more money to pay your bills than you usually do.
- Possible Fire Hazard
Then there is, of course, the chance of fire. The machine itself cannot catch on fire no matter how long it stays on. However, a napkin or paper close to the hot coffee pot can lead to a fire breaking out. Also, if the pot comes in contact with an electrical cord, that too can cause a fire.
So, there is your answer to this question. Modern coffee makers come with tons of safety features, including an automatic shutoff system to prevent fire.
Still, we can’t deny that there is still a small chance of fire hazard. So, if you want to be absolutely safe, you should make sure to turn off the machine whenever you leave your house.