1. When making croutons, do not be overly generous with the olive oil.
2. Be sure to monitor croutons after placing them in the toaster oven. Do not get too distracted with sweeping, dusting, or Battlestar Galactica reruns (if you’re a geek like me, you’ll appreciate the irony), etc.
3. When you notice that contents of the toaster oven are on fire, do not open the toaster oven’s door without something to douse the fire immediately. Otherwise, the sudden rush of oxygen will cause the flames to shoot out.
4. Do not stand and gape at it, either, hoping it will die down. Otherwise, the heat will build, and eventually cause the entire thing to explode, spewing shards of carbonized glass everywhere. Try to put it out (after unplugging it), preferably with baking soda or flour. Don’t be too paranoid about using water. It works okay. Just be careful not to spread it.
5. Keep all the windows open and run the fans for the entire weekend.
6. Dispose of toaster. Accept that you will not be floating croutons in your soup that night. Maybe order takeout.