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The 5 common causes of electrical fires at home

Electrical, Fire & Security, Information

There are hundreds of ways that a fire can start in a home and with the number of electrical devices now included in our daily lives, it is little surprise that electrical fires are becoming a more serious threat.

But while you may think that the majority of electrical fires comes from bad fittings and faulty installations, nine out of every ten electrical fires is actually the result of electrical products.

Here are the five products that are the most likely to cause electrical fires.

Electric Cookers

Electric ovens and microwaves are one of the top causes for electrical fires in the home.  This does not include deep fat flyers.

Washing Machines / Tumble Dryers

Washing machines and tumble dryers are a common cause for electrical fires.  While there have been well documented cases of manufacturing faults that cause fires,  the electrical wiring of the devices are the main cause of fires in the home.

Electrical Lighting

Light bulbs can become very hot (except LED lighting) and whether they have become too close to fabric light shades, have been knocked over or one of many other reasons, electrical lighting can be a dangerous cause of fire in the home.

Portable Heaters

In the depths of winter, many homeowners turn to portable heaters for an extra boost of warmth.  But dust build up can easily create a fire inside a portable heater.  Despite manufacturer warnings, many people still hang wet clothing over their portable heaters which can then catch fire.  And of course there is the risk of electrical faults within the heater that can cause a fire.


TVs cause more fires in the home than irons that have been left on.  The risk of a TV catching fire increases if you leave an older model of TV on standby for long periods of time and despite manufacturer warnings, many home owners will hand their flat screen TVs above a fire place.  The added heat escaping from the fireplace can cause the TV (which itself can generate a lot of heat) to overheat and catch fire.

What can be done

While some of the causes of electrical fires can come down to sensibility of the home owner (ie. don’t hang clothes over a portable heater), regular electrical inspections and PAT testing can be an invaluable safety measure to reduce the chances of electrical fires in the home.  And while there are many things that can be done to prevent a fire, you should always make sure that you have a working smoke alarm system to help get you and your loved ones out of the home.

Fire Extinguishers

No single fire extinguisher is suitable for all types of fire.

For this reason, it is vital to understand what is the most likely ‘type’ of fire that you may have on your business premises because choosing the wrong type of fire extinguisher can actually be more dangerous than the fire itself.

Find out more about the different fire extinguishers available by clicking here.

At HF Group, we are truly a company well connected.  With inhouse electrical and fire and security divisions that can provide you with the electrical testing and fire alarm systems to keep you safe.

Find out more today by calling us on 0800 783 9480

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