Are you guilty of these 5 fire-causing habits?

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The way you use your appliances can increase the risk of electrical fire in your home. Here’s how to avoid making five of the most dangerous mistakes.

When it comes to fire safety at home, it seems that a lot of us have got into some bad habits. Almost all household electrical fires start in the kitchen and a whopping two fifths of them are caused by the way we use our appliances.

Here, we reveal some of the worst electrical fire safety mistakes the nation is making – what’s more, we’ve got the advice you need to put them right!

Leaving electrical appliances running unattended

Ever left the dishwasher to run overnight when you go to bed? Or set the washing machine timer to start a load while you’re at work? Or popped to the shops while the tumble dryer is part-way through a cycle?

If you answered ‘yes’ to at least one of these questions, you won’t be the only one. If you don’t have enough time to run an entire tumble dryer cycle before bed, you’re better off using a shorter tumble dryer cycle or setting the dryer to run for a specific period of time before bedtime to part-dry your clothes. Shake them out, the hang them overnight to finish drying naturally on a clothes dryer.

And instead of using the timer on the washing machine to start a load while you’re out, place your laundry in the drum before you leave the house and add the detergent ready to start the cycle when you get home. You can always set a reminder on your phone, if you’re worried, you’ll forget!

Leaving it too long before you clean the oven

More than one in six of us admit to having left the oven or grill for over a year between cleans, but a build-up of fat and grease is a major cause of fires.

If you struggle to find the time to keep your oven clean, make things easier for yourself by lining the base of your oven with an easy-clean oven sheet, another handy tip is to put a heat-resistant bowl of water inside a hot oven for 20 minutes once you’ve finished cooking. The steam will loosen dirt and grease so that they can be wiped away more easily once the oven is cool enough.

Storing objects on top of the microwave

Over half of us admit to having things stashed on the top of the microwave but this is another example of a seemingly harmless habit that can increase the risk of an electrical fire.

Storing objects on top of your microwave can block the air vents which are designed to allow the product to cool down, if the microwave overheats, there’s a fire risk – so we strongly advise that you avoid doing this.

Instead, keep a kitchen drawer clear to temporarily store things until you have time to tidy them away properly later – you will actually have to do this last bit to avoid the drawer becoming too full, though!

Wrapping the cable around a small appliance when it’s still warm

In the kitchen, the devices we’re most likely to do this with are stand-alone hotplates or grills, according to Electrical Safety-First research. Again, this is a no-no where electrical safety is concerned, as wrapping cables around hot or warm appliances can melt or damage the outer insulation of the cable.

Always leave small appliances to cool fully before wrapping their cables around them ready to be stowed away.

Not defrosting the freezer regularly

If your freezer isn’t a frost-free model, defrosting it at least once a year will ensure it continues to work properly. It’ll also save you money in the long-run as it will work more efficiently and use less energy if it’s not choked up with ice.

REMEMBER: Ensure your home is fitted with Smoke Alarms and Heat Alarms in case a fire breaks out. If you are tired of unsightly smoke alarms cluttering your ceiling, why not have a look at our range of the World’s Smallest Smoke and Heat Alarms here:


Good Housekeeping

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