If you’re a Facebook fan you’ve probably seen my comments about the near kitchen fire we had this week. I lamented that the stove “broke” the same day as the toaster and I wasn’t sure what we’d be doing about it since the new stove I ordered from Sears won’t arrive for about 6 weeks. In the interim, my husband did some Googling (which if you knew what a technophobe he is you’d know what a minor miracle that is) and we discovered other people who’ve had the same problem with the stove.
I first noticed something was wrong with the stove back when I blogged about the broiler failing (read: Recipe: Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Breasts). When it failed I had to come up with an alternative way to finish the chicken. I didn’t think much of it and just assumed that I’d no longer be able to use that function on the oven. Not perfect, but I knew the oven was a few years old and I figured it was slowly dying.
Then this week my son’s girlfriend made dinner for them and within about 10 minutes I started smelling a strong hot, metallic smell. Just as I was about to ask my son if he smelled it (we were all upstairs and the kitchen is on the main floor), every smoke detector in the house started going off. I live with a fireman so we have LOTS of detectors and they were going off even though it was hot and we had every window and door in the house open.
The chicken was black and the heat was so high it stained the opening around the door of the oven. My son opened the oven, laughed at his girlfriend for burning dinner, and then turned off the stove. He saw the broiler element was on and assumed she’d hit broil instead of bake and chocked it up to her using a stove she’s not familiar with.
When the element remained glowing hot and 500 degrees after about 10 minutes it was obvious something was wrong. The silly son thought it was just taking a while to cool down but I knew better. I had him switch the oven off again and then wait 3 minutes. The element remained on. I sent him to shut off the breaker and finally the element went off.
I started shopping for a new stove assuming this one was just broken when the hubby came upon note after note of other people with this same Kenmore stove having similar incidents. It wasn’t long before I found a recall for Kenmore stoves from 2001 to 2009 (ours is a 2003 – I know that thanks to a review I wrote about the stove when we received it on Epinions.com). While the recall is for the Elite Model, ours has experienced the same failure. Frigidaire and Kenmore Smoothtop Electric Ranges Recalled Due to Fire Hazard.
Looking into if further, things could have been worse. Here’s what happened to someone who has the same model as mine:
And it’s not an isolated incident. Here are other online notes about similar safety hazards:
Why blog about it? Because I want other people who have these stoves to know about the danger and get them fixed. I think Sears should look into these incidents and issue a recall which would result in a fix. It can’t be a coincidence that the same brand with the same features has the same safety issue as the recalled models only they’re the Elite model of this stove.
Now I’m reconsidering buying another Kenmore – Sears called yesterday to say the Kenmore stove (which is the “newer” model of this one) and refrigerator they were supposed to deliver on the 13th won’t be here until mid-September. I have plenty of time to shop around and I’m looking for recommendations. I’ll also be reporting this incident and encouraging Sears to check into these issues.