‘Extremely bad idea’: Fire marshal warns people not to microwave masks in attempt to kill germs

The New Hampshire State Fire Marshal’s Office issued the warning on Facebook on April 20. (Credit: New Hampshire State Fire Marshal's Office/Facebook)

The New Hampshire State Fire Marshal’s Office issued a warning on April 20 that heating a mask in the microwave in an effort to kill germs “is a fire hazard and an extremely bad idea.”

“Cloth masks can overheat quickly and catch fire,“ according to the office’s Facebook post. ”Disposable masks also have a metal nose wire and can cause sparks, a fire, and/or break your microwave.“

RELATED: CoronavirusNOW.com, FOX launches national hub for COVID-19 news and updates

The Facebook post included images of two masks which may have been burnt by being heated in the microwave.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that, depending on frequency of use, face coverings be routinely cleaned. 

“A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering,” the CDC notes.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that individuals do not re-use single use masks and to replace with a new one as soon as the mask becomes damp.

To remove one’s mask, the WHO suggests removing it from behind and not touching the front of the mask. Then, individuals should discard the mask immediately in a closed bin and wash their hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

RELATED: Iowa woman sets up 'giving tree' of face masks for people to use during coronavirus pandemic