Skip navigation
All Places > NFPA Today > Blog > 2012 > March > 12

Microwave ovens are one of the leading home products associated with scald burn injuries not related to fires. 

With busy lives, families rely on the microwave oven as a quick way to heat up a meal, warm up a drink or defrost dinner. While the convenience of the microwave oven is something we take for granted, safety should not be. By following a few simple safety tips you can prevent painful burns and possible fires.

!|border=1|src=|alt=Microwave safety|title=Microwave safety! 

[Download these NFPA safety tips on microwaves. |] (PDF, 960 KB)


Safety tips

    • PURCHASE a microwave oven that has the label of an independent testing laboratory. Make sure to complete and return the product registration card. This way the manufacturer can reach you if there is a recall on the product.

    • PLUG the microwave oven directly into the wall outlet — never use an extension cord. MAKE sure the microwave oven is at a safe height, within easy reach of all users.

    • OPEN food slowly, away from the face. Hot steam or the food itself can cause burns. FOOD heats unevenly in microwave ovens. Stir and test before eating or giving to children.

    • NEVER heat a baby bottle in the microwave. Since a microwave oven heats unevenly, it can create hot pockets, leading to burns. Warm a bottle in a bowl of warm — not hot or boiling


The Instructors of the Vermont Fire Service showed tremendous dedication and motivation during a gloomy Saturday morning class. A special thanks goes out to Kevin O’Brian, of the Burlington VT FD, and Tom McGrath, of the University of Vermont Transportation Research Center (TRC). These two individuals obtained four different vehicles for the students to explore.

Mr. McGrath brought the University of Vermont TRC’s Spark shall I say a converted plug-in Prius. The Spark, which is pictured above, is a 2007 Prius that had a Lithium Ion battery added to convert it into a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Other vehicles included a new Chevy Volt and Toyota Prius, provided by Alderman’s Auto. This class was especially relevant as EV-related work has been a focus of the TRC. The Vermont Clean Cities Coalition, housed at the TRC, is currently part of a ten-state EV planning grant sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. The work aims to streamline procedures and outreach efforts in order to prepare the northeast for mass EV deployment.

This was the first time I had the opportunity to see an aftermarket battery installed along with an AC outlet designed to charge the battery. Upon investigation, the company Hymotion designed the L5 Plug-In conversion module for Prius (2004 – 2009). This battery system has been discontinued as A123 systems, have now put their efforts into the global auto industry.

Stay safe,

Chris Pepler, NFPA EV Safety Training Instructor

Confined spaces
Nearly 100 people die every year in areas called confined spaces--storage tanks, process vessels, hoppers, silos, sewers, boilers, pipelines, and cargo spaces--that have limited means of entry and exit as well as unfavorable ventilation.

A feature story in the latest edition of NFPA Journal outlines the potential dangers workers face in these settings, and includes examples of actual fatalities in three states. Also discussed is NFPA's longstanding response to these hazards, including a new project that will more directly address the ongoing problem of fire and life safety issues in these spaces.

Here's a snippet on the new committee from the feature: "The responsibility of NFPA's Committee on Confined Space Safe Work Practices will be to identify the basics of safe practices for entry, work, and exit, and then develop safe work practices applicable to specific workplaces or occupancies. The individual work practices can be specific to industry, space types and design, or to work activity, such as hot work repairs, tank cleaning, or coating and painting."

Make sure to register for the next NFPA Journal LIVE presentation on April 5, when NFPA's Guy Colonna, head of the Industrial and Chemical Engineering division, will present "Tight Spot: NFPA and the Issue of Confined Space." In the meantime, watch the following video of Colonna giving an overview of the new NFPA project:


-Fred Durso, Jr. 


Name a simple household task that helps protect your home from wildfire. What serves as a pathway for fire to reach your house? What’s the definition of wildfire “fuel”? Test your wildfire safety knowledge in our latest, “Preparing Your Home for Wildfire Season” quiz and start using Firewise principles today.

The quiz ends May 9, 2012.


At the end of the quiz, share your results with us, and your neighbors. Work together now to help prepare your homes and community against a possible wildfire threat in the future.

!|src=|alt=Firewise Quiz|style=width: 450px;|title=Firewise Quiz|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef016763b3b08c970b!</div>


Do you want to make a difference?  We have an ideal opportunity for an Human Resources Administrative Assistant. The applicant should be well versed in handling confidential correspondence and possess the ability to exercise a high degree of discretion and good judgment in supporting the department in various functions. The position requires a refined sense of relationship building, initiative, common sense, verbal & written communication, and confidentiality. The main purpose of the Coordinator position is to provide support to the department and deliver service excellence to managers & employees of NFPA. 

For more details on responsibilities, job requirements and how to apply, visit our career center on the website

Filter Blog

By date: By tag: