Take care of domestic appliances - and register them!

Mon 2 Oct, 2017

Firefighters are urging people to register cookers, washing machines and other household appliances - even if they are not brand new - and to take care when using them.

They are supporting this year's UK Home Safety Week, a campaign organised by the National Fire Chiefs Council, which was launched today.

Richard Priest, head of Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service’s community safety team, said: “Good ownership data is key to getting safety information to the people who need it.

"If a problem arises, it is crucial that homes with the affected models can be contacted quickly." 

He added: "Every year in the UK, thousands of house fires start because people are distracted while using their cookers or have perhaps overloaded an electrical socket while using a high-powered appliance such as a washing machine.

"It doesn't take long to carry out a few simple checks to reduce the risk of your kitchen and utility room appliances causing a fire."

Richard's top tips are:

  • The Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances (AMDEA) runs a website called Register My Appliance, which provides quick access to the registration pages of more than 60 leading brands. Appliances which are up to 12 years old may be registered.
  • Always check that you use the right fuse to prevent an appliance overheating.
  • Make sure an electrical appliance has a British or European safety mark when you buy it.
  • Certain appliances, such as washing machines, should have a single plug to themselves.
  • An extension lead or adaptor will have a limit to how many amps it can take, so be careful not to overload them to reduce the risk of a fire. The charity Electrical Safety First has an online Socket Overload Calculator.
  • Keep electrical appliances clean and in good working order to prevent them triggering a fire.
  • Don't use your hob as an extension of your kitchen worksurface.
  • Keep your eyes peeled for signs of dangerous or loose wiring such as scorch marks, hot plugs and sockets, fuses that blow or circuit-breakers that trip for no obvious reasons, or flickering lights.
  • Check and replace any old cables and leads, especially if they are hidden from view – behind furniture or under carpets and mats.
  • Unplug appliances (apart from those that are meant to be left on, such as a fridge-freezer) when you’re not using them or when you go to bed. 
  • Check your smoke alarms every month to make sure they work.
  • Make sure everyone in your home knows the escape route in the event of an emregency.
  • Read the handy Fire Safety in the Home booklet.