A loud crack in the kitchen recently startled a family living in a flat in Sengkang is yet another reminder of safety precautions in the kitchen.
The glass-top stove had shattered without warning, sending shards flying five metres away into the living room.
The sound of the tempered glass bursting apart shocked the family’s domestic helper, who was washing dishes at the kitchen sink at the time.
“We did not cook that day so the stove was not hot,” the female homeowner told Lianhe Wanbao.
“Fortunately, my children were not in the kitchen when the glass shattered. My 12-year-old often helps with cooking, and my younger son goes to the kitchen quite frequently.”
Her family had purchased the glass-top stove in Feb 2017 and started using it in April when they moved into their new home.
“The salesman told me that the stove could last 10 years, but this happened after slightly over two years,” her husband said.
The aftermath of the tempered glass shatter. | Photo via AsiaOne
The homeowner then contacted the stove distributor on the same day and arranged for a check on the home appliance.
Staff from the manufacturer, however, ruled out a product defect and told her that the glass panel had shattered because of issues with its use and maintenance.
A rusty burner was the cause for the incident, the manufacturer told the Chinese evening daily.
“It is likely the family had neglected to clean the burner thoroughly after spilling soup on it, which led to corrosion over time,” he said.
The importance of safety precautions in the kitchen: A rusty burner could be one of the contributing factors, causing corrosion over time. | Photo: iStock
Having recommended the same glass-top stove to her neighbours, the worried homeowner hopes to alert others of such incidents.
Something similar happened in a Pasir Ris flat in 2017, and investigations by both the stove distributor and the household’s gas supplier found that the product was not faulty.
According to Enterprise Singapore, tempered glass is commonly used in glass-top stoves as it is more durable, being impact- and heat- resistant.
However, accidental damage such as placing pots and pans too forcefully on the glass surface may create tiny hairline cracks within the glass panel.
As the cracks widen due to expansion and contraction with each use of the appliance, the tempered glass may eventually shatter.
But cases of spontaneous shattering of tempered glass are not common, glass experts said.
Safety precautions in the kitchen: Safety tips for using and maintaining tempered or toughened glass
Enterprise Singapore has a guide
on the proper use and care for using and maintaining toughened glass.
They suggest practicing the following:
- In general, buy registered electrical and gas appliances bearing the SAFETY Mark.
You can check if the electrical or gas appliance is a registered Controlled Good by visiting cpsa.enterprisesg.gov.sg and select “Register of Registered Controlled Goods”.
- Always remember to read the instruction manual before using any appliance
- Be careful when handling heavy or sharp objects around appliances to prevent damage to the glass – minor scratches can eventually result in glass shattering
- Clean glass hob regularly to remove food or liquid spillage
- Pay particular attention when cleaning gas burners to prevent them from being clogged by spillage
- Ensure that spillage does not leak into the hob’s interior (i.e. through the burner) as it can cause components to rust
- Prevent the glass surface of the gas hob from overheating
- Do not leave the wok stand around the gas burner as heat trapped by wok stand
will be deflected to the glass top
- Avoid using oversized cooking utensils (e.g. pans or woks) as heat will be deflected to the glass
top from the pan bottom. Refer to the user manual to determine the size of utensils that can be used
- Do not cover the glass top (e.g. with aluminium foil) as this will prevent heat from dissipating
- Avoid placing additional weight (e.g. unused pots and pans) directly on the glass top
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