A plugged-in air fryer underwent a power surge and caused a kitchen fire, despite the fact that it was plugged in to a surge protector.
On June 18, 2022, Facebook user Cindy Jennings posted that her kitchen had experienced what appeared in a picture to be a large fire. According to her post, the fire was caused by a plugged-in air fryer that had undergone a power surge when electricity was turned back on inside her home. “So please unplug your air fryers when not in use,” the end of the post read. Readers asked us if this story was true.
Courtesy: Cindy Jennings/Facebook
The post in question read as follows:
Ughhh, the one thing i wanted to tell everyone in my last post but I forgot to tell you my minds not working right yet. But, what caused this was our air fryer. We left it plugged in and when the electric came back on it surged through it. We even had it plugged into a special outlet for protection- it failed anyway what i wanted to tell you was the fire inspector said this was the 6th air fryer fires he’s had to do, they (firefighters) are trying to get air fryer companies looked into because of all the fires. So please unplug your air fryers when not in use
Note: Jennings’ post mentioned a previous post. However, that previous post was not visible to users who were not her Facebook friends.
We looked to verify three key pieces of information for the readers who asked us to look into this story. We wanted to confirm that a power surge in an air fryer, which was said to have been plugged in with a surge protection product, was the cause of a fire inside Jennings’ home. Second, we looked to verify with firefighters whom she said she spoke with that they had seen several air fryer fires just like this one, and that they were trying to get the problem looked at by investigators. We also wanted to find more details about any past recalls of air fryers.
According to publicly-viewable information on Jennings’ Facebook profile, she appeared to live in Surfside Beach, South Carolina. We attempted to reach out by phone and email using contact information that we found online. We also sent her a message through Messenger.
In case the kitchen fire involving the air fryer and the power surge did happen in Surfside Beach, we also contacted Robert Clemons, the fire chief at the Surfside Beach Fire Department. We left a voicemail by phone and sent an email. However, we did not yet receive any responses from Jennings or the fire department.
One of our aforementioned goals in the investigation of Jennings’ Facebook post was to look for past recalls of air fryers. We found two recalls that had been issued in 2022.
On April 21, 2022, Best Buy recalled around 772,000 Insignia air fryers and air fryer ovens, saying it was because they could “overheat, posing fire and burn hazards.” Later, on Oct. 13, 2022, NewAir recalled 11,750 of its own Magic Chef air fryers too, also because of the same reason. It’s unclear what make and model of air fryer appeared in the picture posted by Jennings.
This story will be updated if we receive any responses to our inquiries.
As we continue to look for answers, this fact check has been rated as “Research In Progress.” We will change this to a more firm rating in the future.
“Best Buy Recalls Insignia Air Fryers and Air Fryer Ovens Due to Fire and Burn Hazards.” U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 21 Apr. 2022, https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2022/Best-Buy-Recalls-Insignia-Air-Fryers-and-Air-Fryer-Ovens-Due-to-Fire-and-Burn-Hazards.
Jennings, Cindy. Facebook, 18 June 2022, https://www.facebook.com/cindy.jennings.7798/posts/pfbid02o56oU9vsVh7nwphhcwyVXyz3YcTxq91thTYXMk8uLLigFPSjRvcLv3hFnJJm5JbUl.
“Newair Recalls Magic Chef Air Fryers Due to Fire and Burn Hazards.” U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 13 Oct. 2022, https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2023/Newair-Recalls-Magic-Chef-Air-Fryers-Due-to-Fire-and-Burn-Hazards.
Surfside Beach Fire. https://www.surfsidebeach.org/182/Fire.