East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is raising awareness of the risk of accidental fires during Home Fire Safety Week (2-8 October).
Mealtimes can be a busy time for everyone and we’re using this week as an opportunity to remind people how easily kitchen fires can start in the home. Between July 2016 and June 2017 East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service attended 565 accidental dwelling fires with 326 of these starting in the kitchen (58%) of the accidental dwelling fires that started in the kitchen, 260 (80%) have been recorded with a cooking appliance as being the source of the fire. Distraction is a main cause of these types of fires but by simply taking a bit more care and finding out about your appliances you can make your home safer.
Electricity is often overlooked as a possible fire hazard. This may be because there is no flame. However, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service responded to 152 fires involving electrical appliances between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2017.
Plugs and cables that are old or poorly wired can be a real danger. It’s important to not overload sockets and switch off appliances at the plug where possible before you go to bed. Don’t leave appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines running over night or when the house is empty.
Poor installation, which can be as simple as a heavy appliance sitting on a power lead and poor maintenance, which can be as simple as not defrosting a freezer can increase the risk of an incident. Inappropriate installation can also include appliances installed in outbuildings such as garages and shed where an ambient temperature cannot be maintained.
Good housekeeping, such as keeping electrical items clean and changing filters, can prolong the life of an appliance and reduce the risk of fire. Don't keep using appliances if they start to make unusual noises, smells or don't operate properly. It’s important to have them checked by a professional.
Register your electrical appliances for a safer home
The RegisterMyAppliance website is designed to make it quicker and easier for the public to register all of their appliances. It provides up-to-date, accurate, contact information for owners who have acquired specific models of appliances within the last twelve years, so manufacturers can issue safety updates or repair notifications to the right homes. The website provides access to the registration pages of over 40 leading brands of domestic appliances, including most of the UK’s top selling brands of major white goods.
You can also check if your product has been recalled
At the moment there are a few ways you can check if an appliance is recalled. You could go to the manufacturers website but this can be slightly time consuming as it’s not always easy to find where the information is on the website and most people have a variety of different appliances by different manufacturers, which may mean looking at several sites.
Electrical Safety First's product recall database lists a range of products and appliances and is a useful tool.