Warning comes as electrical fires account for over a quarter of accidental house fires

Cleveland Fire Brigade in partnership with leading campaigning charityElectrical Safety First is urging householders to look after their household white goods.

The timely call comes during Electrical Safety Week this week (20-27 November) where Fire and Rescue Services across the country reach out to their communities to remind them how they can reduce the risk of an electrical fire in their home.

Domestic electrical white goods, such as dishwashers, tumble dryers and fridge freezers are one of the leading causes of electrical fires in England. Last year, 1,873 fires were caused by white goods, the equivalent of over five fires per day.

Across Teesside, although the number of accidental house fires have reduced, (171 in 2014/15 to 137 in 2016/17) more than a quarter of them are caused by electrical equipment and a quarter of those are caused by white goods.

Cleveland Fire Brigade and Electrical Safety First have some simple tips to help people use the white goods in their homes safely:

  1. Always buy from a reputable dealer/manufacturer and never buy second hand white goods.
  2. Always register your appliance with the manufacturer so you can be notified if there’s a problem. Visit registermyappliance.org.uk
  3. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. If you’re concerned about an appliance in your home, use Electrical Safety First’s online product checker to see if it has been recalled.
  5. Visit whitegoodsafety.com for advice on using your appliances safely.

Phil Lancaster, Director of Community Protection at Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “A high number of fires in Teesside are caused by the misuse of electrical appliances and these can be easily prevented.  A house fire can have devastating and long term effects, not only destroying belongings and memories but also putting you and your loved ones at risk. We are urging everybody to follow our simple advice that will help them to stay safe in their homes.”

Phil Buckle, Chief Executive at Electrical Safety First commented: “Electricity is the cause of over half of all domestic house fires in England each year. Faulty appliances and installations along with the misuse of electricity are amongst the major causes of these electrical fires, leading to avoidable deaths and injuries. With more than five fires a day in England caused by white goods, the Government needs to take immediate action to reduce this figure.”