Articles

How to protect your home from fires 

Avoid fires by checking appliances properly 

2 minutes

Haven't checked your appliances in a while? They're one of the leading causes of house fires.

Here's how to check your electricals and register them on a national database.

  •  1 in 10 UK household fires last year were caused by faulty electrical goods
  • Prevent the cause of fires by following a few simple tips when using appliances
  • Register your appliances online to stay informed of any safety recalls

Add your appliances to a national database to stay safe

The UK Fire Statistics revealed 11 per cent of all accidental dwelling fires between April 2013 and March 2014 were caused by faulty electrical appliances. 


Here's how to reduce your risk: 

  • If your appliance doesn’t have an off switch, turn it off and unplug it at the wall when you’re not using it

  • Don’t overload extension cables, and avoid using multi-plugs altogether if you can help it. Extension cables should only be used as a temporary measure

  • Fit at least one smoke alarm on each level of your home and place one near your kitchen as a priority. Don’t forget to test them frequently

  • Gas-powered appliances, such as your boiler, should be serviced regularly and checked for safety by a Gas Safe registered engineer. You can visit Stay Gas Safe to set yourself a reminder

  • Don’t keep your refrigerator or freezer in the garage. Most fridges don't run properly if the temperature surrounding the appliance is low

  • When using lawn mowers, strimmers or other electrical equipment in the garden, check the socket you're using has been fitted with a circuit breaker in case you accidentally cut through the electrical cable

  • Always read the instruction booklet for each household appliance to understand the safest way to use it. Most electrical goods also have descriptions, manuals and how to guides on brand websites

  • Once you’ve read the manual, store it in safe place, or in a box file along with all the other manuals for your household appliances. Keep any receipts with each booklet 

There's also a government and industry-supported campaign encouraging homeowners to register all their household appliances on a secure database: Register my appliance

This way, if there’s a safety recall on an electrical item you own, you’ll know about it straightaway and the problem can be sorted by a qualified engineer. 

Safely repairing your appliances sooner rather than later could help reduce the risk of accidental fires in the home, avoiding the need to claim on your home insurance.

Currently only a third of consumers register their domestic appliances leaving a significant number of untraceable electrical items, if an issue arises. So pop it on your to-do list and stay safe.