An air fryer is a relatively new cooking appliance mainly used to deep fry foods. Philips electronics introduced the first air fryer into the market in 2010. Since then, many air fryer brands have come up. Air fryers come in handy in roasting, grilling, steaming, and baking foods. This appliance operates on the principle of rapid air technology. However, despite the effectiveness of air fryers, they are prone to explosions. Many people across the United States have suffered severe injuries due to air fryer explosions. If you or a loved one suffers burns or other injuries due to an air fryer explosion, Consumer Alert Now can help you file a class action to seek compensation. You can join other victims of air fryer explosions in suing the manufacturers for defective products. 

Understanding How Air Fryers Work

To understand how air fryers work and why they are prone to explosions, you must understand the appliance's main components. An air fryer has several components:

  • Heating element
  • Removable tray
  • Filter
  • Exhaust system
  • Large fan
  • Air guide at the bottom

When you prepare food using an air fryer, you have to place the food in the tray. The heating element produces ample heat, which penetrates deep into the food. The fan helps to pull up air through the cooking area while generating a strong air current flow. The air guide helps distribute the air evenly, which helps distribute heat throughout the fryer.

As the air within the fryer recirculates, it is common for pressure to build up. If the accumulated air is not released on time, the air fryer might end up exploding. Air fryers have exhaust systems that release small amounts of the air held within the fryer into the atmosphere. If the exhaust system malfunctions or is blocked, the air trapped within the fryer might cause an explosion and cause severe burns.

The Leading Causes of Air Fryer Explosions  

Most people prefer air fryers over other cooking appliances, especially while making fries. Air fryers make it easy to prepare meals with little or no oil. For this reason, many people consider them a healthy cooking option. However, the fryers often get extremely hot or end up producing smoke. It’s rare for an air fryer to explode. However, it is important to understand the leading causes of air fryer explosions:

  • An air fryer might explode if you use it outside of its specifications. For instance, the appliance could explode if you fill it with food or pool water at its bottom. Overfilling the air fryer leaves little room for air circulation, which leads to overheating an explosion.
  • There are instances of air fryers catching fire in the course of cooking. A fire may result due to malfunctioning or improper use of an air fryer. Human error while using the appliance could also cause a fire or an explosion
  • If you put too much oil while cooking, it could lead to a fire or an explosion. It is advisable to use small oil portions while cooking with an air fryer. Manufacturers have to issue adequate warnings to consumers regarding the issues that might cause an air fryer explosion.
  • An air fryer requires ample space between the air fryer heater and the fan. You should avoid overfilling the fryer to ensure that you leave ample space between the heater and the fan
  • Air fryers operate at a temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Putting excess food or oil into the fryer might increase the temperature beyond this limit and cause an explosion.
  • An air fryer might also explode due to exposure to water or other liquids. It is advisable to avoid submerging or rinsing the appliance in water. Submerging the air fryer in water might lead to a short circuit, and this might make the fryer catch fire or explode
  • The fryer might explode if the oil covers the inlets and the outlets of the appliance. The vents play a crucial role in supplying air to all parts of the fryer. Proper circulation of air facilitates the cooking of your food and prevents it from burning or overheating.
  • An explosion might occur due to crowding of the area around the air fryer. Placing the fryer too close to the wall could also lead to an explosion. An explosion might also occur if you place towels or other items that could easily catch fire close to the air fryer.

When an Air Fryer Sets Off the Smoke Alarm

The air fryer might trigger the smoke alarm or detector if some smoke comes out of the fryer. If you notice that your fryer produces smoke, you should check whether oil or food particles have splattered on the heating element. If you notice smoke, you should put off the fryer, wait for it to cool down, and wipe the heating element with a dry paper towel. You could also clean out the excess grease on the fryer. Some people go to the extent of putting a piece of bread at the fryer's bottom to absorb the excess oil.

Excessive smoke might occur if you cook super fatty foods like bacon using an air fryer. Fatty foods often splatter oil on the heating element and smoke results. It is normal for the fryer to produce smoke whenever you are preparing fatty foods

Smoke could also occur if you set the air fryer at extremely high temperatures. Setting the fryer at the temperatures recommended by the manufacturer will reduce the instances of smoke production

Avoiding Liability in Air Fryer Explosions

For you to be able to file a class action successfully and seek compensation for damages suffered in an air fryer explosion, it should be evident that you are not liable. If the court establishes that the explosion occurred due to your negligence, the manufacturer might not be responsible for your damages. For you to avoid liability in case of an air fryer explosion, it is important to take precautions while using the fryer.

An air fryer is an excellent appliance if you understand its full potential, and you use it well. Even if an air fryer enables you to make delicious and healthy meals, you might encounter major problems if you do not use it correctly.

You could pose a risk to yourself and your loved ones by misusing an air fryer. Before you begin using the appliance, you should familiarize yourself with the device's health and safety hazards. Air fryers are known to start fires that might end up burning down an entire building. For you to avoid an unforeseen circumstance, you need to take time to understand the fryer before you even begin using it. As long as you take the necessary precaution while using the fryer, you will have a basis to join a mass action in case of an air fryer explosion. Some of the safety precautions that will help you avoid liability in case of an air fryer explosion are:

Read and Understand the Manufacturer’s Manual

When you buy an air fryer, your first instincts might be to toss the manual into a bin and start using the air fryer immediately. However, you should never start using the air fryer before reading the manual that comes with the appliance. You should not wait for the air fryer to catch fire or explode to read the manual. Most people are guilty of disregarding the manufacturer’s manual until something bad happens. You can avoid numerous issues just by taking a few minutes to read and understand the manual.

For you to avoid liability in case of an explosion, you should only use the appliance for the purpose outlined by the manufacturer. Ensure that you understand the required voltage before you begin using the appliance. Do not give in to the eagerness and the excitement of using your brand new appliance. You should also ensure that your fuses and electrical systems are well rated and compatible with the air fryer. 

Proper Cleaning of the Air Fryer After Every Use

You should ensure that you clean your air fryer properly after every use. Avoid using the appliance repeatedly before cleaning it. If food particles stick to the heating element, they will start to burn the next time you use the air fryer. The main air fryer compartment is dishwasher safe and thus easy to clean. After using the fryer, you should wait for at least thirty minutes before cleaning it to ensure it cools down.

When cleaning the air fryer, you should avoid using rough cleaning materials like an abrasive sponge or steel wool. Using hot water alongside abrasive detergents could wear off the air fryer’s surface over time. Failing to clean your air fryer regularly might lead to operational issues.

Avoid Cleaning the Electrical Components of the Air Fryer

Some people assume that they have to immerse their air fryers in water to clean them well. However, just like with other appliances, it would be hazardous for the air fryer's electrical components to encounter water.  Immersing the appliance in water could lead to a short circuit or an electric shock. The only part of the air fryer that you can immerse in water is the air fryer basket.  You should always read the appliance manual carefully before you begin to clean the fryer.

Filing a Class Action After an Air Fryer Explosion

A class-action lawsuit involves a group of people who have suffered similar injuries due to the same defective product. The plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the defendant, usually the product manufacturer, as a group. While filing a class-action lawsuit, you will join other people who have suffered losses or damages due to air fryer explosions. A class action comes in handy when numerous individual lawsuits are not worthy or valuable enough to support a lawsuit. The value of the lawsuit adds up when different plaintiffs band their lawsuit together. The plaintiff can collectively hire an attorney to file the lawsuit on their behalf.

A class action allows plaintiffs to combine their attorneys, witnesses, evidence, and other aspects of the lawsuit. This helps to make the lawsuit more efficient. A class action is easier for the court to handle than handling numerous yet similar lawsuits. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 23 contains the law that governs class actions in the United States. Different states in the U.S also have different rules governing class actions. However, the majority of these rules are developed from the Federal class action rules.

Parties Involved in a Class Action

A class-action lawsuit has three main participants:

  • Named or lead plaintiff
  • Class members
  • Defendant

The named or the lead plaintiff is the person or the persons filing the lawsuit. The name of the lead plaintiff appears on the complaint. A complaint is a legal document that starts a lawsuit.

There might be thousands of persons whose rights might have been affected by the class action lawsuit and the lawsuit’s allegations. These people are known as class members. The settlement or the decision that the judge makes will apply to all the class members. Many class members may not be aware of the class action since they are not the ones filing the lawsuit. Most of them will only learn about the class action when they receive a notification regarding the lawsuit.

The defendant is the company being sued by the plaintiff and the class members. In the case of the air fryer explosion, the defendant is the air fryer’s manufacturer.

The Process of Making a Class Action Lawsuit

The first step while filing a class action is to determine whether the class action qualifies. When you contact an attorney regarding a class action, the attorney will evaluate your case's facts to determine whether to file a lawsuit. Some of the activities that the attorney will carry out are:

  • Find out about other persons who have suffered injuries in the same manner as you
  • Find out if another plaintiff has filed a lawsuit due to an air fryer explosion
  • Determine if you still have time to file the class action depending on the applicable statute of limitations
  • Conduct research on previous judicial opinions and rulings to find out whether lawsuits or similar claims were successful
  • To ensure that the defendant has not filed for bankruptcy and is thus not shielded from liability because of the bankruptcy filing
  • Determine whether you should file an individual claim or lawsuit instead of a class action

If a lawsuit is frivolous, the court is likely to dismiss the lawsuit. Therefore, it is important to have an attorney evaluate your case's factors before filing the class action. Your attorney will take the time to speak to consumers when deciding whether to file the lawsuit. This will help the attorney to determine whether the lawsuit is worthwhile.

File a Lawsuit

Filing a lawsuit is the second step that your attorney will take if he or she believes that the lawsuit is worthwhile. The attorney will prepare a complaint, a legal document that outlines the damages sought and other facts of your case. The complaint will also outline the class members or the individuals who are affected by the lawsuit. A class action could either be state-wide or nation-wide. Some lawsuits may only include persons who live in the same state as those who initiated the lawsuit. Other lawsuits may include persons from different states across the U.S.

Certification of the Class Action

Even if your attorney files the lawsuit as a proposed class action, the lawsuit will not officially become a class action until the presiding judge assigns the class-action lawsuit status. This decision is known as class action certification. Before certification, the class action is known as a putative class action. This is an assumed class action that will only materialize after certification by the judge.

For the successful filing of a class action in a federal court, an attorney must meet certain requirements. For instance, an attorney must prove that the number of people who could be covered by the class action is large enough. This way, an attorney will prove that it would be inefficient or impractical to file numerous claims.

The Discovery

The discovery is the stage where the attorney filing the class action conducts a thorough investigation. During the discovery stage, the attorney may request documents from the defendant, the air fryer manufacturer. The documents will come in handy in proving the allegations outlined in the complaint. During the discovery stage, the attorney may also interview people with knowledge of the circumstances and the lawsuit's events.

Resolution of the Class Action

The class action resolution through trial or settlement is the last stage while filing a class action. Most class actions do not proceed to court. The defendants often set aside an amount to compensate the class members. If the case proceeds to court, the presiding judge will consider the settlement and determine whether it provides fair compensation to the affected members. The settlement will not be final until the presiding judge approves it.

The Number of People Needed to File a Class Action

If you plan to file a class action due to air fryer explosions, you could be wondering about the number of people needed to file the lawsuit. It is always advantageous to have several people named as plaintiffs in a class action. However, a single person is enough to file a class action. Your attorney will help you file a class action as long as they believe that several other people suffered injuries in the same manner as you.

After filing a class action, every individual who could be affected by the lawsuit has to be notified. It might not be possible to notify every person affected personally. However, all the affected persons have a right to the best notice possible. Some of the typical ways of notifying persons affected by a lawsuit include television posted flyers, newspapers, and magazines. The court handling the class action will tailor the appropriate notice to reach out to the parties involved.

After identifying the members who suffered injuries due to the same appliance, the persons may either join the group in filing the lawsuit or file a class action independently. Joining the existing class action is referred to as opting in a while deciding to file a separate lawsuit is known as opting out. After filing a class action, all the plaintiffs affected by the class action will live with the consequences of the court’s decision.

Benefits of Filing a Class Action

One of the leading benefits of a class action is that it helps collect and dispose of many small claims simultaneously. The judge listens to the plaintiffs and defendant and decides on who wins. If the plaintiff wins the claim, the judge will decide on the amount of compensation or recovery. All the plaintiffs will share the amount that the judge decides on. If the judge rules in favor of the defendant, the lawsuit will be over, and plaintiffs will not receive any compensation. The class action participants can’t file a lawsuit on the same issue at a later date.

A class-action lawsuit is also advantageous because every member of the class action will receive something. The defendant might not have enough resources to compensate every plaintiff fully for the damages or losses suffered. However, every plaintiff will receive some payment.

The costs of filing a class action are much lower than the cost of filing an individual lawsuit. Small claims are grouped, and all the plaintiffs share the costs, including the attorney fees. The plaintiffs will only need to identify a competent attorney who will file and defend the class action. An experienced attorney will effectively manage a complicated class action litigation, which will help keep the costs under control.

Find a Class Action Attorney Near Me

Class actions are complicated. Because of the expense and complexity of class actions, few class actions proceed to trial compared to individual lawsuits. If the judge does not dismiss a class action, most parties reach an agreement out of court. If you have suffered damages due to an air fryer explosion in the U.S Consumer Alert Now can evaluate your case and advise you whether to file a lawsuit. Contact us at 800-511-0747 and speak to one of our attorneys.