Is It Harmful to Put Items on Top of a Refrigerator?

Cookbooks and potted plants add decoration to the top of your refrigerator, but storing them there can be dangerous. Heed the warning on the label inside your refrigerator, and find other places to store such items. Even if space is in short supply, your safety and that of your loved ones is worth the inconvenience.


Each time you open and close your refrigerator, it moves a little, and so may the items on top of it. Over time, you can lose track of where a given item originally was and not realize that it has shifted toward the front edge of the refrigerator. Here it can fall over the edge and injure you or anyone standing nearby. With a light item such as a cereal box, this may be a small matter. With a heavier item such as a potted plant, it could mean serious injury.

Children and Pets

One solution to keep children and pets from getting into boxes of treats is to put them out of reach. Yet if the treats are still in view, both children and pets may climb onto counters to grab them. If you store your child's favorite cereal on top of the refrigerator, for example, he could climb up to eat it while you're out of the room, fall down and injure himself. Store tempting items in cupboards instead to prevent a potentially fatal accident.

Energy Efficiency

According to All You, a housekeeping website, your refrigerator needs space on all sides to operate efficiently. Without this space, air can't flow properly around your refrigerator, resulting in higher energy use. Though this isn't harmful to you, it's another negative result of storing items on top of your refrigerator.


Rather than storing items directly on top of your refrigerator, install shelving at least three inches above it. You can also hang a wallpaper border on the wall above the refrigerator or hang a potted plant if you simply want to use the space for decorating.