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Alzheimer's & Dementia
Kitchen & Dining
Living Room - Any Room
Smart Home
Outdoors - Wandering

Small Appliances - Microwaves


Fire Risks:
Using unsafe cooking materials
Cooking inappropriate food items
Entering incorrect time
Using microwave for unintended activities

Tip Sheets:
12 Safety Tips
Making It Off-Limits

Some people in early or middle stages of dementia are still able to use a microwave safely. However, although microwaves may appear to be safer than regular stoves or ovens, they can cause serious burns and fires if used incorrectly.
  • Using unsafe cooking materials like tinfoil or metal pans can cause sparking and fires. Margarine tubs can warp and spill scalding food and liquids.

  • Cooking inappropriate food items like eggs in the shell or canned soup can end up exploding and catching on fire.

  • Entering the incorrect cooking time – like pushing the button for 40 minutes instead of 40 seconds for a melted cheese sandwich – can cause a fire.

  • Some people with impaired judgment may use the microwave for unsafe activities, like drying underwear or wet paper, or storing newspapers.

You can do many things that might help a person use the microwave safely. View our 12 Safety Tips for practical information on enhancing independent usage.

Each individual with dementia has different remaining skills and abilities that are constantly changing, so it's important to continually monitor usage. At some point in the disease, you will need to deny complete access. View our Making It Off-Limits section to learn how to make the microwave off-limits, when necessary.

For more information:

Cooking Safely in the Microwave Oven

Superheating Liquids

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