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Industry News

Published on February 24th, 2021 | by The GC Team

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Appliances cause 15,000 fires a year, research finds

Household appliances cause 15k accidental fires a year in England, and there are big brand names responsible, according to a new report.

Research by Essex-based supplier of products and services to the electrical industry ElectricalDirect showed that, of the accidental appliance fires in 2019/20, 2.2k (15%) of them were caused by the appliance being faulty. This equates to 43 fires a week.

The biggest culprits were washing machines, accountable for nearly a quarter (23%) of the faulty appliance fires. Tumble dryers (20%) and cookers (9%).

Appliances that caused the most fires due to being faulty

Rank Appliance Type Number of fires due to being faulty (2019/20)
1 Washing machine 520
2 Tumble dryer 459
3 Cooker incl. oven 201
4 Fridge/ Freezer 181
5 Dishwasher 171
6 Extractor fan 118
7 Grill/ Toaster 116
8 Other domestic style appliance 96
9 Microwave oven 74
10 Washer/ Dryer combined 54

(Number of faulty household appliances that caused fires in England in 2019/20)

The data, sourced and analysed from government fire statistics, revealed that Hotpoint appliances caused the greatest number of faulty appliance fires last year, with 311 recorded, 112 of which were washing machines and 105 tumble dryers.

The second brand at fault was Indesit with 183 reported fires – the biggest offenders being tumble dryers (69) and washing machines (67).

Third was Beko, whose goods caused 150 fires. Of these, the majority were washing machines (52) and tumble dryers (29), although dishwashers (27) and fridge/ freezers (26) were also noted.

Brands whose appliances caused the most fires due to being faulty

Rank Brand Number of faulty appliance fires (2019/20)
1 Hotpoint 311
2 Indesit 183
3 Beko 150
4 Bosch 100
5 Hoover 93
6 Candy 59
7 Zanussi 47
8 White Knight 39
9 Whirlpool 33
10 Bush 32

(Number of faulty household appliances that caused fires in England in 2019/20 by brand)

ElectricalDirect is urging those that purchase new appliances to ensure they are registering them and to keep an eye on the UK Government’s Product Recall page.

Dominick Sandford, director at ElectricalDirect, said: “Make sure new appliances are registered so that manufacturers can contact you in the event of any problems. It is easy to do and takes minutes, just visit registermyappliance.org.uk.

“If you notice an appliance isn’t working properly make sure you seek professional help when looking to get it repaired. Attempting to repair an appliance yourself may result in further damage, increasing the risk of fire and even electrocution.”

Top 10 household appliances most likely to cause an accidental fire

The study also revealed that the most common causes of accidental appliance fires were placing household items too close to sources of heat, misuse of appliances and reported faults. Cookers, toasters and hobs were the most likely to cause fires.

Cookers were responsible for 8,000 accidental fires in 2019/20, 53% of total appliance fires in England. Hot plates and toasters came second and third, causing 11% and 9% of fires respectively. 

Rank Appliance Number of fires caused in 2019/20 % change Y-O-Y
1 Cooker incl. oven 8,001 -3.50%
2 Ring/ hot plate (separate appliance) 1,581 -2.95%
3 Grill/ Toaster 1,368 -4.00%
4 Microwave oven 922 -7.80%
5 Tumble dryer 668 4.70%
6 Washing machine 624 6.85%
7 Fridge/ Freezer 215 -6.11%
8 Dishwasher 194 -7.62%
9 Deep fat fryer 186 2.20%
10 Extractor fan 182 -0.55%

(Number of household appliances that caused fires in England in 2019/20 and percentage difference in 2019/20 vs 2018/19)

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