Ontario Fire Marshal: Please don’t microwave your mask

Fire fatalities have soared 65 per cent over the same period last year

Don’t even think about trying to decontaminate your personal protective equipment by heating your mask in the microwave.

Ontario Fire Marshal (OFM) warns that’s a potential fire risk. The alert comes in response to suggestions that microwaves can be used to sterilize masks for re-use.

OFM points out microwaves are not designed to heat cloth materials. Many disposable masks are equipped with staples or a metal nose wire and that’s not a good mix with a microwave.

There have already been 51 fire fatalities in Ontario in 2020, a 65 per cent spike over the same time last year. In March, there were 17 deaths.

The OFM said more families are staying at home and they are doing more cooking. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of house fires in Ontario.

There have been no reports of residents in Ontario microwaving masks, but it has been an issue in the U.S. and Britain, thus the warning.