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6 Coffee Maker Fire Statistics in 2022: Is Your Brewer Safe?

fire extinguisher spraying on fire in kitchen

Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.

The USA loves its coffee, with the average American drinking between two and three cups per day. Sources of favorite coffee drinks include coffee shops, cafes, and restaurants, but the majority of households have at least one coffee maker. Coffee makers range from the French press to the more complex Espresso machine. While a French press does not pose a fire risk, because it doesn’t have a heating element and relies solely on hot water, other types of coffee maker do use electricity to power a heating element and, although the risk seems low, there is still a risk that these can cause house fires. Such fires can occur for any of a number of reasons, from faulty wiring to a malfunctioning thermostat.

Despite the fact that millions of households across the USA have at least one coffee maker, the instances of fires caused by these home appliances is thankfully rare, with estimates ranging from 30 to 50 a year. This low figure means that there is very little data available regarding the exact number of fires, their causes, or the actual outcome of the fires.

Below, we have curated six coffee maker fire statistics that you should be aware of.

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The 6 Coffee Maker Fire Statistics and Facts:

  1. Approximately 22 consumers report smoke or fire from coffee makers, per year.
  2. Electrical malfunction was responsible for 7% of residential building fires in 2019.
  3. 300 consumers reported fires caused by coffee makers between 2013 and 2018.
  4. Coffee maker fires are typically caused by faulty wiring, thermostat, and deterioration of wiring.
  5. Kitchen fires cause $1 billion in property damage in the US every year.
  6. Unattended use of kitchen appliances like coffee makers causes 31% of cooking fires.

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Coffee Maker Fire Statistics

1. Approximately 22 consumers report smoke or fire from coffee makers, per year.

(CNYCentral)

Some types of coffee maker have a heating element that is powered by electricity. This element is used to heat the water, while an additional element might also be used to warm a plate that keeps the brewed coffee at a drinkable temperature. It is these heating elements that have the potential to cause fire. Thankfully, fires caused by coffee makers are rare. According to some figures, only 22 consumers per year report smoke or fire from their coffee makers.


2. Electrical malfunction was responsible for 7% of residential building fires in 2019.

(U.S. Fire Administration)

It is possible that coffee maker malfunctions go unreported as the cause of house fires. There are multiple appliances in a typical kitchen, many of which rely on electricity or gas, and where damage is especially bad, it can be difficult to determine the exact cause of the fire. However, in 2019, 7% of all fires in residential buildings were reported to have been caused by electrical malfunction, showing the importance of keeping your coffee maker and other electrical equipment in good working order.

house on fire with trees
Image credit: Chris Karidis, Unsplash

3. 300 consumers reported fires caused by coffee makers between 2013 and 2018.

(ABC News)

The number of fires caused by coffee makers could be slightly higher than 22 per year with one report suggesting that, in the US, 300 consumers reported fires that were caused by their coffee makers in a five-year period between 2013 and 2018. This equates to 60 fires per year.


4. Coffee maker fires are typically caused by faulty wiring, thermostats, and deterioration of wiring.

(HomeGuides)

Coffee makers are electrical appliances so there is a danger of fire. This is especially true when the machine is left on for several hours at a time to keep brewed coffee warm, or where the machine is old and has not been well maintained. The most common causes of coffee maker fires are faulty or damaged wiring, a broken or malfunctioning thermostat, or electrical wiring that has deteriorated or become badly damaged over time.

wires inside of a coffee machine
Image Credit: Jo Bolio, Shutterstock

5. Kitchen fires cause $1 billion in property damage in the US every year.

(NFPA)

Most kitchen fires happen around Thanksgiving and Christmas. US fire departments respond to an average of over 170,000 house fires caused by cooking every year.


6. Unattended use of kitchen appliances like coffee makers causes 31% of cooking fires.

(NFPA)

Although most cooking fires are caused by the unattended use of grills, stoves, and ovens, kitchen appliances like coffee makers also contribute. The safest way to use any kitchen appliance is to monitor it while in use and unplug it the rest of the time.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Coffee Maker Fires

Can You Keep A Coffee Maker On All Day?

Some coffee makers are designed to make a full pot of coffee that contains six or more cups of coffee, which makes them ideal for heavy coffee drinkers that don’t want to have to brew a fresh cup every time. They include a hot plate or warm plate that will keep the pot warm for some time. So, these coffee makers are designed to be left on for some time, but it is not advisable to leave a machine on all day. Eventually, the coffee in the pot will dry up and while this might not start a fire, it can cause the pot itself to crack or break.

Why Is My Coffee Maker Smoking?

A smoking coffee maker does not necessarily mean fire, but it does mean you should take action to prevent the problem getting worse. The most common causes of smoke being emitted from a coffee maker are empty water tanks, mechanical faults, and a water tank that has run dry.

fire extinguisher hanging on wall
Image credit: Piotr Chrobot, Unsplash

Should I Unplug My Coffee Maker?

Leaving a coffee maker on all day can be a fire hazard, but some devices are designed to be left plugged in even when they are not in use. Some machines, for example, have a clock, and unplugging them whenever you aren’t using them will mean the clock resets. However, if safety is your main priority and you want to be sure, then you can unplug the machine when it is not in use.

How Hot Do Espresso Machines Get?

A freshy brewed espresso should be somewhere between 160° and 165°, but the water needs to be heated to a higher temperature than this before the drink is made, because temperature is lost throughout the brewing process. Most machines will reach a temperature, therefore, of about 195°.

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Conclusion

Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world and Americans drink hundreds of millions of cups of it every day, including those from coffee shops, other restaurants and cafes, and made at home. Although there was an increase in the amount of coffee made at home during the Covid pandemic, and an increase in the sales of home coffee makers, the number of home fires caused by coffee makers remains thankfully very low.


Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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