Are Microwave Ovens Safe?

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Microwave ovens are safe when they come from the factory. However, improper placement or attempts to repair them could make them dangerous. Always read and follow the manufacturer's instructions and never attempt to repair a microwave oven unless you are a qualified electronics technician. Unseen dangers may lie inside, and improper repairs could lead to injury or even death.

Microwave Energy

  • Microwave ovens heat and cook food with electromagnetic waves that leave no residues or have any side effects. This energy remains inside the oven as long as the door is closed. The ovens are built with protection devices to ensure that the energy source shuts off any time the door is open. Microwave energy released into your home could cause burns or damage to other electronic equipment in your home. You should never try to operate a microwave oven with the door open.

High Voltage

  • Microwave oven circuits produce high voltage to operate the microwave energy source. This high voltage can remain in the circuitry, even when the oven is unplugged. Therefore it is particularly dangerous to remove the cover, even if the unit is unplugged. Danger of spark and electrical shock can be present any time the cover is removed. But with the cover in place, there is no danger.

Placement

  • Microwave ovens have ventilation ducts to allow air to cool the electronic circuits. To ensure safe operation, these vent ducts should never be covered with other appliances or decorative covers. If air does not circulate properly, the internal circuits could overheat and cause a failure or a fire. Also, these vents could allow water to enter, which could be dangerous. So the oven should never be placed where there is a chance of water entering the vent ducts.

Cleanliness

  • Keep your microwave oven clean. Built-up grease can cause a fire. Dirt and food particles around the door could cause a bad seal, allowing microwave energy to escape, reducing the efficiency of the oven. A clean microwave oven is a safer microwave oven. But always be careful not to let water enter the vent ducts while cleaning. Clean your microwave with any standard appliance spray cleaner.

The Light Bulb

  • If the light bulb burns out, you should never try to replace it. The bulb is located in a recess behind a plastic shield that cannot be removed. This is where the microwave energy enters the cooking chamber. Because of the complex nature of microwave energy transmission, the location, size and shape of the light bulb are intricate parts of the design of the oven. Light bulb replacement should only be done by an experienced technician.

Conclusion

  • As long as you keep your microwave oven in a safe location, follow the manufacturer's instructions, keep it clean and dry, and don't try any repairs, it should be perfectly safe.

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