Originally Posted by Addie
The newer crock pots have better controls and give you a better sense of safety in leaving the house for hours. If your CP has no controls, then I would say it is time to invest in a new one. All CPs are made with a built-in thermostat. But isn't to say it can't wear out over the years.
These small appliances have a 2nd "fail-safe" switch that is supposed to shut the appliance off if the first one fails. If the 2nd switch (which hasn't had to be tested while the first one is operating correctly when you use the appliance) fails, your appliance could stay "on" and, well, not pretty.
A friend's house almost burnt down because he forgot he had toast in the toaster, went outside for about 30 minutes. In the meantime, the pop-up, off-mechanism failed, the toaster did not shut off...$20,000 damage to the kitchen. Had he not gone back in the house when he did, he would not have been able to contain the fire and put it out. By the time the Fire Dept. would have arrived, his house probably would have been up in flames. As it was, 50% of his kitchen cabinets were gone, his counters, the ceiling (chopped a hole in the ceiling and sprayed water from the garden hose up there), smoke damage to the rest of the house.
I stay close to my kitchen (if not in it) when using appliances or cooking on the stove top.