The whistle of a pressure cooker has become one of the most distinct demarcations of office and home life while working from home. The whoosh sound reminds you to go to the kitchen and take care of the recipe – a welcome relief from work for many!
The pressure cooker in your kitchen is a close and reliable ally for many homemakers. Whether you want to cook a hearty meal for your family, want to get past the day, or are looking for some warm comfort food, the pressure cooker has always come to your rescue in a matter of whistles.
The simple-looking cooker has been riding on for two and a half centuries of scientific progress and merit. But like any other machine, the string of innovations in its style still can never guarantee 100 % safety.
This article shall shed light on the risks associated with the careless use of pressure cookers and what steps you can take in case of any injury.
Why Do Pressure Cookers Explode?
A release valve present in the design of the cooker performs two functions. It releases the excess built-up steam and maintains the pressure inside.
This security feature can also cause chaos when it fails to perform. The release valve can get clogged with food particles and other debris. This blocks the pathway for the excess steam to go out. If the valve jams, this extra built-up pressure inside can result in an explosion. Moreover, sudden pressure release on opening the lid can also be fatal.
Other common factors that can cause such an accident are:
The rubber ring on the lid of your pressure cooker is one of the most important safety components. It seals the surface between the vessel base and the lid, redirecting the accumulating steam away from the bucket.
Faulty gaskets that are unable to open or do not release pressure from time to time can result in severe accidents.
Your pressure cooker’s lid seals the food, moisture, and pressure into one common area. The air inside is then driven out to facilitate the cooking procedure. If the cooker is not sealed properly, then it shall draw out more than air.
Incorrectly locked seals may cause the pressure cooker to eject your food from the bowl. The force with which the food hits the lid can cause an explosion. If you are anywhere around during the incident, you can get harmed due to the hot boiling contents spewing out.
You need to be careful about your pressure cooker’s capacity before you pour things into it. An overfilled cooker poses a real threat of throwing the boiling contents on you.
The US market boasts millions of pressure cooker loyalists. But in recent years, pressure cooker-related accidents have been on the rise. Injuries caused due to a pressure cooker explosion can be severe and might incur years of expensive medical treatment.
TorHoerman Law, LLC provides product liability lawyers to assist victims with complicated legal bearings. The firm has negotiated settlements and verdicts totaling more than $4 billion for their clients to date.
Brands That Have Been Recalled
The Consumer Protection Safety Commission has recalled several brands as consumer complaints about flaws are on a steady increase.
Some of the brands in question are:
- Breville – Fast Slow Cookers
- Crock-Pot – Express Crock Multi-Cookers
- Double Insight – Instant Pot
- Instant Pot – “Smart” Model Pressure Cooker
- Maxi Matic – Elite Electric Pressure Cooker
- Ultrex-Brand – Pressure Cooker
- NuWave – Pressure Cooker
- Power Pressure Cookers XL (including PC-WAL1)
The manufacturers are obligated by law to follow minimum safety requirements.
This is to guarantee the performance of their products and the safety of their users.
Product liability claims against the manufacturers come under 3 categories:
This product claim is plausible if the product in use has not been assembled or manufactured on the lines of its intended design. The intended design is exhaustive in terms of safety and optimum use. It is the error in the assembly or manufacturing that makes the product unsafe.
This claim reflects the fact that the basic design of the product contains an unseen or an ignored flaw. This product is unsafe for the customer. These flaws in the design occur before any step and have an impact on the entire range of items.
Failure To Warn and Labelling Defect claims include products, the dangers of which were not made known to the consumer in detail. The user uses the product without any knowledge of the dangers that are lurking with its general use. These possible dangers and risks are hidden from the user and may necessitate taking extra care or being diligent when using the product.
Can You File A Pressure Cooker Explosion Lawsuit?
You might be eligible for compensation from the manufacturer if you sustained injuries like burns and marks due to the cooker being defective.
If a child is harmed in a pressure cooker accident, then their parents can claim compensation for the injuries.
Potential damages that can be compensated for are:
- Scarring and disfigurement caused by serious burns
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and future wages (if there’s a loss of ability to earn)
- Property damage
- Punitive damages
Nothing can replace the agony of physical pain and loss of life. What you can do at the most is use the product with utmost caution and be open to acknowledging the warning signs.
In case you have been injured or you know someone who has had to bear the brunt of a cooker exploding, do not waste any time and seek immediate action.