Appliance makers have a long history of disregarding safety concerns in order to give customers what they want.
It usually takes a decade of calamities before building code is changed to force appliance makers to address the safety issues that they already know about but simply prefer to ignore. Flush mounted ovens are the new danger that’s being ignored.
For example, professional cooktops and ranges were sold to homeowners for residential use with high powered hoods for about ten years before building code was changed to require a replacement air system for all hoods over 400 CFM’s. Up until the building code was changed in 2011, untold thousands of homeowners and their families were exposed to carbon monoxide pulled back into their homes from their chimney exhaust by the powerful blower’s appliance makers knowingly sold to residential customers. See #7 in this blog.
Another danger that continues to this day and causes the death of a couple of children each year is ranges installed without an anti-tipping lock. Small children open range doors and stand on the door tipping the appliance on top of them. Although securing all ranges is code it is often overlooked even in appliance showrooms.
The newest danger that is growing in popularity and encouraged by appliance dealers is installing ovens flush mounted with the oven doors even with the face of cabinetry.
This gives a custom and seamless look particularly with inset cabinetry. However, it has not been determined exactly how dangerous this is. Most cabinet makers void their warranties when ovens are installed this way. And appliance manufacturers make no claim as to safety when their ovens are installed with the door of the oven flush with the face of a cabinet. When installed flush inset, the seal between the door and the oven box is behind the face frame of the wooden cabinet. However, appliance centers frequently showcase this look encouraging customers to ask for their ovens to be installed in this manner.
It does not take much imagination to foresee the risk of a fire on a flush mounted oven. Think about what would happen if the seal on the oven door failed when the oven is on.
Particularly when the oven temperature is high when broiling or set to the self-cleaning cycle of 750 degrees Fahrenheit. Ovens are designed to mount with the rim around the oven covering the cabinet front. This seals the oven box from the interior of the cabinet such as shown in the photo below.
Cabinet doors and drawer fronts are recommended being over an inch away from the oven for safety. So how can appliance dealers show appliances with the oven seal pressed against the side of the cabinet and the oven box actually behind the face of the framed wooden cabinet? The answer is that unless someone makes a law and changes building code appliance dealers and manufacturers rarely address safety!
Showing this flush mount installation of ovens is irresponsible. Appliance makers surely know this but once again they have put profits above safety.
Hoping your appliance salesperson, kitchen designer and installer protect you from this particularly bad idea.
During these difficult times we wish you a safe and heartfelt . . .
Paul, Julie, Chris, Ed, Lauren, Jeremy, Juliet, Camilla, and Mark
Main Line Kitchen Design