Are you wondering if a refrigerator can catch on fire? Maybe you are concerned about your refrigerator and if it could catch fire?
We have the answers here today to save you wondering! We all worry about house fires and the damage they can cause.
Not only can they tear through our homes, but our families too and we want to do all that we can to prevent this.
One by one, we turn our attention to appliances in our home, wondering if they could be the cause of a fire, and one of these appliances is our trusty refrigerator.
Can a refrigerator catch on fire? The answer isn’t always easy to find, and that’s where we come in!
Today, we are here with the answers you need. Keep reading to find out if a refrigerator can catch on fire and anything else you need to know.
Can A Refrigerator Catch On Fire?
Let’s get straight into it! Yes, your refrigerator can catch fire!
There are a few different ways and reasons why your refrigerator can catch on fire, and you must know what these are.
That way, you know what to look out for and how you can lower your chances of having a fridge fire.
Typically, refrigerators catch fire when their electrical components like light bulbs and other internal circuitry fail.
Don’t worry, we will look at these in more detail now, but it’s worth knowing that a lot of these causes can be prevented!
So stick with us as we look at them and some ways you can reduce your chances of a refrigerator fire today.
Causes Of A Refrigerator Fire
Now, let’s look quickly at the common causes of a refrigerator fire.
The Light Bulb Is Left On
A common cause of a refrigerator catching fire is when the light bulb stays on after the refrigerator door is closed.
If the light bulb is left on for too long, it can overheat and cause a fire.
This tends to happen if bulbs with too high a wattage for the refrigerator are in place, or if there are issues with the wiring connecting to the light bulb and its fittings.
When replacing a light bulb in your refrigerator, make sure that you have the correct wattage to prevent this from happening to you.
Fan Motor Failure
Your refrigerator will have condenser and evaporator fans which usually feature copper wire windings. These can sometimes overheat and can cause a refrigerator fire.
Dust builds up on these windings or the fans can contribute to overheating and increase the risk of a fire, so be sure that these are cleaned regularly.
Overload Protector And Relay
Your overload protector and relay are another common cause of a fire.
Typically, this is due to overheating and happens when water from the water tray drips over the overload protector or relay. What happens next is a short circuit, causing a fire.
A fire can also be caused if your relay coil windings are damaged or break down. These windings can overheat severely, causing a fire.
Again, regular maintenance and cleaning are good ways to prevent this from happening.
Failing Mechanical Defrost Switch
Your defrost switch changes the refrigerator between its defrost and cooling cycles, allowing the evaporator coils to defrost.
Now, in some cases, water can collect in the housing of the defrost switch.
If this water is then heated up by the electrical component, it can release a flammable gas vapor. This case can build in the case, and become the ignition for a fire.
If your compressor malfunctions, it can cause a fire. Again, this is caused by overheating when the compressor is not designed with a thermal cutout.
It can also be caused by a faulty compressor motor, which can cause a short circuit that will then cause a fire.
You will want to check the housing of your compressor to ensure that there is a thermal cutout and that it is working properly.
Another cause of fires in your refrigerator is the voltage fluctuating. This is one of the most common causes of fires with refrigerators, especially in residential areas.
If the voltage becomes higher than the threshold value, it can cause a spark that will lead to a fire.
You will want to report any fluctuating voltages to an electrician immediately and contact the manufacturer of the refrigerator to ensure that measures can be taken swiftly.
Cyclopentane is a gas often found in refrigerators and is extremely flammable. It isn’t always easy to control too and can lead to dangerous fires in your home.
You must take note of these common reasons and check your refrigerator for signs of damage.
Make sure that any fans are kept clear of dust and debris and that you clean your refrigerator frequently to prevent a buildup of them or any water.
We recommend that you have your refrigerator serviced too where possible to ensure that it is up to standard.
How Common Is A Fridge Fire?
Although refrigerator fires are very scary, it's worth noting that they are rare. Although they are a fire risk, around 7% of house fires are caused by refrigerators.
Compared to other appliances like dryers and space heaters, that is a low percentage!
We still recommend keeping your refrigerator cleaned and well serviced, but you don’t need to worry too much about your refrigerator.
If it is in good working condition, then the chances of it causing a fire are far lower than other appliances in your home.
And there you have it! A refrigerator can catch on fire, and the results can be devastating.
However, most of the causes are due to overheating and wiring failures that can be prevented.
Make sure that you spend some time getting to know your refrigerator and report any concerns you have so that a professional can take a look at them!