Internet ‘life hacks’ that claim to make your life easier don’t always deliver on their promise, as one woman found out when a cheese-on-toast tip ended with her toaster going up in flames and the fire brigade paying her a visit.
Suzanne Dale of Sale, Greater Manchester, saw a tip on Facebook for making cheese on toast without a grill by simply turning a toaster on its side and inserting the bread topped with cheese.
But instead of producing beautifully melted cheese on a crispy bread base, Suzanne’s toaster caught fire. Not only that, but the resulting flames nearly burnt her kitchen down.
Quick-thinking Suzanne managed to escape the blaze and the fire brigade was quickly summoned. Nonetheless, it took at least 20 minutes to extinguish the flames and it was many hours before the smoke had cleared.
Now Suzanne is warning others not to follow her example and to use better judgement with advice they read online. She quickly took to Facebook, the source of the tip, and shared a photo of her flame-damaged toaster, advising: “Don’t try this at home”.
“Luckily I live in a house and have a garden, but if it was anyone living in a flat or somebody who was less agile who couldn’t get out as quick, they were real flames, it could be dangerous,” she told the Manchester Evening News.
Luckily Suzanne also saw the funny side, adding the following to her Facebook post: “Time for a trip to Argos... ....!!.... PLEASE SHARE.. !!... there must be other people as daft as me.. !! x.”
Fire brigades up and down the country aren’t so keen to make light of the incident. In response to Suzanne’s mishap, Greater Manchester Fire Brigade urged: “Only use kitchen appliances in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions.
“Trying to make cheese on toast in a toaster is an extremely bad idea and can cause a devastating fire in the kitchen.”
The cheese-on-toast life hack has been doing the rounds for some time, with TV chef Jamie Oliver featuring the advice in a Guardian column as recently as January 2015 (accompanied by a warning from the London Fire Brigade).
In 2014, a creative home cook in Croydon sparked a kitchen fire after trying the same sideways take on the classic snack.
The London Fire Brigade response was clear: “Toasters are not designed to be put on their side and used to grill cheese on toast. Not only does it generate heat on to the work surface as we saw at this incident but the dry leftover crumbs from the bottom of the toaster can get onto the hot elements and ignite.
“I never thought I’d have to give this advice as it’s painfully obvious, but if you want cheese on toast use a grill, not a toaster.”
Have you ever tried a tip you found online? Let us know in the Comments section below.
Photo credits: MEN