Toaster Ovens

Q: I was having a discussion regarding toaster ovens use in healthcare and the frequency of fires was a factor for not favoring them. We have a few on campus and my research finds nothing in our policies or elsewhere specifically banning them from use. I see the requirements in the LSC regarding residential vs. commercial equipment requirements but no equipment is listed along these lines as not allowed. Can you share your knowledge on this subject?

A: Toaster ovens are not prohibited… but they are considered a perceived risk by many (if not most) authorities because they can be set to 450 degrees and they will not automatically shut-off, and potentially set something on fire. Therefore, you need to decide if you want to permit them in your facility. If so, conduct a risk assessment that identifies mitigating actions to reduce the perceived risk of these devices. If not, then remove them from the building.

Brad Keyes
Brad Keyes, CHSP

Brad is a former advisor to Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) and former Joint Commission LS surveyor. He guides clients through  organizational assessment; management training; ongoing coaching of task groups; and extensive one-on-one coaching of facility leaders. He analyzes and develops leadership effectiveness and efficiency in work processes, focusing on assessing an organization’s preparedness for a survey, evaluating processes in achieving preparedness, and guiding organizations toward compliance. 

As a presenter at national seminars, regional conferences, and audio conferences, Brad teaches the Keyes Life Safety Boot Camp series to various groups and organizations. He is the author or co-author of many HCPro books, including the best-selling  Analyzing the Hospital Life Safety Survey, now in its 3rd edition. Brad has also authored a variety of articles in numerous publications addressing features of life safety and fire protection, as well as white papers and articles on the Building Maintenance Program. Currently serving as the contributing editor of the monthly HCPro newsletter Healthcare Life Safety Compliance  gives Brad further insight into the industry’s trends and best practices.