The most common cause of fires in the home is the misuse of electrical equipment, faulty appliances and leads. Domestic appliances including dish washers, tumble driers, cooking appliances and washing machines are a common source of ignition.
Electrical products in the home
We use electrical equipment every day around the house and it's important to make sure it is safe.
Any electrical appliance that’s left plugged in to the mains could cause a fire. Some, like fridges and freezers, are designed to be left on but even these can cause fires if they’re not used properly.
Follow are safety advice:
- Keep the area around plug sockets and the mains switch clear
- Always use the right fuses
You should never -
- Use anything with a torn or damaged wire or plug
- Use anything electric that’s broken or not working properly
- Put electric cables under carpets
- Put too many plugs in sockets
Switching off at the socket and pulling the plug out is the only way to be sure no electricity is flowing through an appliance. Just using the socket switch isn’t safe because the switch could be broken.
If left plugged-in, many appliances still have power flowing through them even though they look like they’re off. The same is true of equipment in ‘sleep mode’ or on ‘standby’.
Lots of electric appliances contain transformers which retain power, even when the appliance is switched off. If a fault develops, the transformer could overheat and start a fire.
As well as keeping you safer, switching off and unplugging things at the wall will save you electricity and money!
Appliances that have motors, pumps or large magnets in them can use up to seven times more power. So fridges, freezers, microwaves, washing machines, dishwashers, spin-dryers, vacuum cleaners, air conditioning units, dehumidifiers, power tools and gardening equipment should never be plugged into adaptors or power strips with other appliances (they could be too much for the adaptor). Plug them straight into the wall instead.