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The Risks Of White Appliance Fires

appliance, claims, electric appliances, fire damage, Insurance Claims, kitchen fire, Loss Adjuster, Loss Assessor, microwave, oven, toaster, tumble dryer

Electrical appliances are a significant fire risk for homeowners. Electrical appliance fire statistics show In 2020/2021, there were over 13,000 domestic appliance fires in the UK. If not treated carefully and correctly, these white goods can quickly result in a causing a fire in your home.

What Causes Appliance Fires? - There are many causes of electrical appliance fires in homes. Some of which can be easily avoided by homeowners. The most common causes are:

  • Outdated wiring in the appliances
  • Low grade component parts
  • Overloading sockets with appliance plugs
  • Misuse of extension leads
  • Portable heaters placed too close to flammable surfaces

Many fires result from low-grade individual component parts manufactured to meet the bare minimum of standards to minimise cost.

Kitchen fire caused by electrical appliance fire

What Appliances Are Fire Hazards?

Appliances, particularly white goods, are defined as the leading cause of fire hazards in properties at least once per day in the UK. The London Fire Brigade have publicly named some of the manufacturers in the past and pleaded with them to issue safety warnings on all ranges known to pose a risk of starting a fire. They have also asked manufacturers to encourage engineers to visit and rectify or recall any faulty appliances as soon as possible to prevent further fires.

How Many House Fires Per Year

Fire Rescue Services attended 577,053 call-outs in the year ending March 2022 compared with 518,270 the previous year. 152,608 were fires, showing an increase from 151,095.

The table below shows electrical appliance fire statistics of the ten domestic appliances that caused the most fires in UK homes in 2020/21 according to the Home Office statistics:

Domestic ApplianceFires in UK (2020/21)
Cooker (including oven)7246
Electric hot plate / stove1291
Grill / toaster1260
Microwave oven790
Tumble dryers542
Washing machine456
Deep fat fryer238
Fridge / Freezer202
Domestic appliance fires in UK homes 2020/21 (Home Office statistics)


Cookers such as your electric ovens caused over 7000 fires in the UK in 2020/21, the most of any domestic appliance. Cookers and oven fires are often caused by leaving food or food scraps inside them unattended. If you suffer an oven fire, you should immediately:

  • Leave the oven door closed.
  • Switch it off and allow the fire to burn out on its own.
  • Call the emergency services if it does not go out.
  • Once the fire has gone out, open your windows.
  • Open the over door carefully and allow the smoke to clear.
  • Establish the cause of the fire before using the cooker again.

Electric Hot Plate / Stove

Electric hot plates or stoves, caused the second most domestic appliance fires in the UK in 2020/21, with over 1200 cases. It is essential that before using your stove, you clean off any grease and flammable grime before turning off the heat. A dirty stove is a fire risk.

Grill / Toaster

Grills and toasters were also responsible for over 1200 fires in the UK in 2020/21. Placing these close to anything that can burn is always risking a fire. A faulty toaster that fails to turn off is also a common cause of home fires. It is sensible to unplug these kitchen appliances when they are not in use to avoid these potential fire risks.


Almost 800 fires in the UK were caused by microwaves in 2020/21. As you can imagine, placing metal pieces in the microwave, sometimes found in food packaging, is likely to cause a fire. Clean all remaining food, a build up of food poses a potential fire risk. You should also avoid overheating ingredients in a microwave. Never leave anything in the microwave unattended.

Tumble dryer

Tumble dryers were the cause of 668 fires in 2019/2020. To help with fire prevention, we have provided you with some simple steps to follow to help with this. Remove lint from the machine after every load of clothes that you dry. Do not cover any vent or opening on the device. Sweep or vacuum areas around the dyer to prevent fluff build-up. Do not use it while sleeping or when away from home.

Prevent Electrical Appliance Fires

To reduce the risk of fire, when using kitchen appliances or any electric appliances, always keep a close eye on them. Leaving them unattended increases the risk of a severe fire breaking out and reduces the chance of you preventing it.

When you leave your house, turn appliances such as tumble dryers and washing machines off at the socket to reduce risk.

Check Appliance Reviews Before Buying

If you plan to purchase new appliances, particularly white goods, google to research if there are any warnings about their history of starting fires before you commit to the order. You can search online for your appliances or directly with the manufacturers to ask about fire safety warnings associated with the unit.

Smoke Damage After Appliance Fire

Many people are unaware of the toxicity of smoke damage after an appliance fire. Temperatures in even the smallest of fires regularly exceeds 1000 degrees centigrade.

However, it’s not just heat that causes damage. Smoke is insidious and remains a significant problem long after extinguishing a fire. The dangers of smoke damage can be grave to people and properties.

If you suffer an appliance or electrical fire in your home, be sure to give us a call. Oakleafe Claims deal with many house fire Insurance Claims and can help you get your home back to its pre-fire condition.

Smoke damage after kitchen fire
Smoke damage after a kitchen fire
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