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Domestic House Fires, but it will never happen to you?

Domestic house Fires in the UK are Growing.

Every year in the UK people are needlessly injured or killed in Domestic house fires. In the UK there were 44,000 house fires in the year 2011-12. Of these, 37,600 were accidental fires and 14,700 fires were about misuse of electrical appliances and equipment. It comes as no surprise to realise that electrical fire in the home is a growing problem.

Recent statistics for 2021-22  show that so far there have been 33,387 house fires in 2021/22 alone. This highlights just how significant it is to have a working smoke alarm/detectors to the overall safety of your home and to ensure your Electrical system is inspected properly together with your Electrical Equipment.

Unfortunately, many electrical fires that occur could have been easily prevented. Fires in the home do not make sensational headlines. They happen behind closed doors and many people believe it won’t happen to them.

Fire brigades up and down the country are issuing warnings to take more care with electricity and electrical items. The warnings come as stark reminders to householders who may be taking risks with electricity and serve as a reminder that electricity is dangerous and does kill. Just following a few simple safety tips will ensure that the likelihood of an accidental fire in your home drops considerably.

Fires can cause devastating consequences and if you are lucky enough to survive uninjured, you will have caused costly damage to your property.

Electrical fires accounted for 28% of accidental fires in the UK. They were made up of space heating appliances, electrical distribution, and other electrical appliances. Electrically related fires account for over a quarter of accidental fires and are the second largest cause of accidental fire in the UK. The biggest cause of accidental fires at 52% was the improper use of cooking appliances.

The Majority of household fires in the UK are down to bad DIY and, It is a statistical fact that 72% of domestic property in England and Wales needs to be rewired Now, the life expectancy of wiring is about 25-30 years, many of the properties have not been rewired since the late 50’s and some even older.

Using faulty electrical appliances and leads does kill. Despite constant warnings being issued by fire brigades and other key electrical charities such as the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) using faulty appliances and leads accounted for 19 fatalities in the UK in 2011-12. This highlights the importance of regularly checking leads for signs of damage and ensuring the appliance is clean and operated in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

The misuse of appliances and equipment was the biggest cause of non-fatal casualties – 2,600 in accidental house fires. This has now taken over the casualty rate for chip pan fires which has been declining since 2004.

The news is not all bad though as it does appear that householders are beginning to take more care in the use of electrical appliances with casualty rates falling by 80 to 900 cases in 2011-12. One of the main causes of unnoticed house fires is leaving items such as hair straighteners accidentally switched on and overloaded sockets. Householders are being encouraged to unplug electrical items when not in use and not to rely heavily on extension leads.

Poor/inferior wiring in the home (either due to deterioration or from tampering) contributes to accidental fires also. Fire can break out inside walls without the householder realising.

Any apparent problem such as hissing or bad smells coming from sockets, flickering lights and any other concern should receive attention from a qualified, registered electrician.

The best way to prevent such problems from occurring in the first place is to have an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) carried out.

For homeowners, the recommended Maximum period between inspections is 10 years, and the requirements for rental properties are less.

This ensures that any potential problems with the electricity supply can be addressed and rectified before any real problems occur.

Unexpected smells and sounds coming from your electrical outlets are a sign that something is not right.

Finally, ensure your home has a working smoke alarm.

Should a fire break out in your home you will be alerted and will avoid you and your family becoming trapped in your home or intoxicated by smoke and fumes caused by the fire.

Fire alarms can be either battery-operated which is not a good idea as the batteries run out, or mains powered, which is a far safer version.

It is important to locate the fire alarms correctly in your home so that they are most likely to alert you in the event of a fire.

A Qualified electrician who has been trained to BS 5839-6 can advise on this or your local fire brigade will be happy to advise.

Fire alarms should be tested at regular intervals, ideally weekly to ensure they are functioning correctly.


Whatever you do, make sure you always check out your contractor, see if he is registered on the approved body website never take their word for it and if it does come back as not registered phone the approved body and check, before you ever get into a contract with the Electricians.

For further assistance Call Safe-Electric at 07957-432-981 or contact us via our website