We all love the convenience of modern electrical items from kettles and microwaves to tumble dryers and dishwashers. When used correctly, the risk of fire is low.
Make sure an electrical appliance has a British or European safety mark when you buy it. Beware of fake electrical products. Don’t overload! If in doubt: ONE PLUG, ONE SOCKET. Certain appliances, such as washing machines, should have a single plug to themselves, as they are high powered.
If you need to use extension cables and adapters, use this socket overload calculator to check. Do not leave appliances running if they are unattended especially if you are out or asleep.
Check for scorch marks and fraying cables (shown on the image on the right hand side) as this can be very dangerous. If you are in any doubt, DO NOT USE!
- Keep appliances clean and unblock filters. Do not block vents or store items on top of your appliance. Check and clean behind appliances.
- When moving or installing appliances, make sure there is enough ventilation. Always be careful not to trap any cables.
Register your appliance
Register your appliances with the manufacturer so that you can be contacted in case of product recall. Even if your appliance is several years old, it can still be registered. Visit Register My Appliance for more information. Despite high profile cases in the media, only about 6-10 products are recalled per year.
Electrical Beauty Products
- There have been an estimated 650,000 house fires in the UK caused by hair straighteners, curling wands and other electrical beauty products.
- 1 in 12 users have admitted to leaving them on.
- Straighteners can reach temperatures of over 235° and can take up to 40 minutes to cool down.
- 1 in 10 burns to children are caused by hair straighteners.
- Source: Electrical Safety First
Bedroom fire caused by electrical beauty products
Charging Electrical Items
- When charging electrical goods, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and look for the CE mark that indicates chargers comply with European safety standards.
- Switch off and unplug chargers and devices when not in use.
- Avoid charging mobile phones and other electronic equipment overnight. NEVER place electrical items under pillows or on soft furnishings.
Be aware: Pets home alone? Watch this short film about when a cat and dog were left to their own devices.