NIR Manual - Appendix C Microwave Oven Safety Guidelines

  • Do not operate the oven if it is damaged or does not operate properly. It is imperative that the oven door seals properly and that there is no damage to the door seal, hinges, latches, or oven surfaces.
  • Ovens used for food preparation must be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent biological contamination, fire potential, and door seal damage.
  • Ovens used for laboratory applications cannot be used for food preparation. Conversely, food preparation ovens should never be used for other applications.
  • Do not use aluminum foil or any metal containers, metal utensils, metal objects, or objects with metal or foil trim in the oven. Such items can cause arcing, damaging the oven and creating a fire or burn hazard. A classic item, which is often overlooked, is the metal handle on the paper Chinese food box.
  • Do not heat objects that are sealed as they may explode, damaging the oven and blowing off the door.
  • Never heat any flammable or combustible liquid in the oven. A fire and/or explosion may result.
  • Be careful when removing containers from the microwave. Containers or their contents may be very hot, resulting in burns or spills of hot materials.
  • If a fire should start inside the oven, leave the door closed, disconnect the power cord and call the fire department at 911.
  • Never make adjustments to or tamper with any component of the oven. Do not try to perform repairs on your own. The oven operates on high voltage and amperage that can be lethal if improperly handled.
  • Generally speaking, commercially available microwave ovens are very safe and reliable, regardless of the manufacturer. All ovens produced for sale in the United States must meet a strict FDA/CDRH product performance requirement that limits their microwave leakage during service to 5 mW/cm2 at 5 cm from any oven surface.
  • If your oven is damaged or you have a reason to believe it may be leaking, please contact Radiation Safety at (510) 642-3073 to arrange a survey of the oven.