Importance of electrical fire safety in kitchens - stats and what to avoid
Fires are more likely to start in your kitchen than any other room in your home. According to the Incident Recording System causes of fire can be categorised into three main areas: cause of fire (a defect, act or accident giving rise to ignition), source of ignition, and item responsible for fire. According to research by Fire Statistics England, the most common causes of accidental fires in the home between 2014/15 were as follows:
36% of fires caused by misuse of appliance equipment
16% of fires were a result of faulty appliances and leads
50% of fires caused by cooking appliances - by far the largest ignition category.
The majority of electrical fires are a result of electricity supply (e.g. wiring, cabling and plugs) but big products, such as washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers, are also common culprits to be aware of in the home.
How to stop electrical fires occuring in your kitchen.
Turn off electrical equipment when you’re not using it (unless they are designed to stay on, like fridges)
Never turn a washing machine, dishwasher or tumble dryer on before going to sleep
Don’t let leads from kettles, toasters (or similar) trail across your cooker
Regularly check flexible cables – look for signs of fraying, wear and tear, or a loose plug
Keep an eye out for hot plugs, scorch marks or fuses that frequently blow. These are all signs of loose wiring, or another electrical problem
If you think an electrical item is too old/is faulty in anyway, DON’T delay. Make sure you fix it or change it immediately
What to do in the event of a fire.
Even if the fire is in its very early stages in your home, it is never advisable to try and tackle a fire yourself with a fire extinguisher. Fires can spread incredibly fast, so it is imperative you evacuate as quickly as possible and call the fire service on 999.