Warning issued as figures reveal 1,475 fires started by appliances in five years
- Credit: Eastern Counties Newspapers
Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service has warned of the dangers of leaving your cooking unattended, after new Home Office figures revealed that 1,475 house fires were started by a household appliance in the county between April 2012 and March of last year.
Almost half the incidents attended by the service were started by cookers - including ovens - with separate rings and hot plates a distant second in terms of fires caused.
Garry Collins, head of protection and prevention at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, said that the findings correlated with his experience of house fires in the area.
He said: '80 per cent of all fires happen in the kitchen.
'The fundamental part of these findings for me is never to leave pans unattended – particularly late at night. When people come home from drinking, quite often they will be distracted or fall asleep during cooking.'
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703 fires were caused by cookers during the period and Mr Collins also highlighted pans which had not been cleaned properly as a cause of the incidents.
The fire chief said that the causes of household appliance fires were a similar story elsewhere in the country, which is supported by the Home Office figures from other areas in the UK for the same time period.
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In similarly rural Shropshire, just under 53% of domestic appliance fires originated from cookers and in London that figure was just under 56%.
He also noted that the figures only accounted for incidents attended by the fire brigade, and not those dealt with by homeowners themselves.
The Fire Brigades Union warned that both manufacturers and householders had a duty to prevent fires stemming from everyday appliances.
A union spokesman 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.
'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.'
FBU also emphasised the need to check that you have a working smoke alarm.
The most common reason for fires started by appliances was misuse of the equipment, which caused 881 fires in Norfolk.