Leading causes of household fires in Cambridgeshire are revealed

The leading causes of household fires in Cambridgeshire have been revealed.

The leading causes of household fires in Cambridgeshire have been revealed. - Credit: Archant

Cookers, stand-alone hobs and toasters are the domestic appliances most likely to start fires in Cambridgeshire.

New figures from the Home Office show that 120 house fires were started by a household appliance in the area between April 2017 and March this year.

More than half the incidents attended by the Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service were started by cookers, with 63 fires causing nine deaths or casualties over the year.

The most common domestic appliances to cause fires in Cambridgeshire between April 2017 and March 2018 were:

Cookers, including ovens: 63 fires

Separate rings and hot plates: 15 fires

Grills and toasters: 8 fires

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The Fire Brigades Union warned that both manufacturers and householders have a duty to prevent fires caused by everyday appliances.

A spokesman for the union said: “Manufacturers have a duty to ensure the products they sell are safe for the public to use and do not pose a threat to life.

“Make sure that the electrical wiring in our homes is in good order, and ensure that we have working smoke alarms and we have a plan for what to do if they go off.

“We can all play our part in reducing fire risk by registering products with the manufacturers when we buy them, so that we are notified if there is a safety-related recall.”

More than 23 fires were started by faulty appliances or leads in Cambridgeshire over the financial year, April 2017 to March this year. Across England, such faults started more than 2,400 fires.

The most common reason for fires started by appliances was misuse of the equipment, which caused 38 fires in Cambridgeshire, and more than 8,700 nationally.

But the old staple of fire safety talks, chip pans, were still the cause of 11 fires in Cambridgeshire, and nearly 1,600 fires nationally.

Group commander Kevin Napier, head of community fire safety at Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, said:

“Over the years we’ve been doing a lot of work with our communities to reduce the number of fires in the home, and injuries caused by fires.

“Most fires in the home start accidentally, so it’s really important that you know how you can reduce the chance of a fire starting in your home and reduce the risk of injury.

“Making sure you don’t get distracted while cooking, ensuring that your appliances are registered (so you can be alerted to any product recalls), and taking extra care with open fires are all things you can do to reduce the risk of a fire starting in the home.

“It’s also really important to have a working smoke alarm on each floor of the property that is tested regularly. A smoke alarm is the single most important thing you need in your home - it will alert you to a fire and give you precious minutes to escape to safety.

“In the event that there is fire in your home, our advice is always to get out, stay out, call 999, and wait for the fire service to arrive.”