Updated on 23rd May, 2023 by Martin Astley
The kitchen is essential to us; it is where we cook, have our morning coffee, and gather with friends at house parties. But what you might not consider is the fact that kitchens vie with bathrooms for the unenviable title of the home’s most dangerous location, and it’s not just because of their sharp knives and high temperatures.
The combination of water and high-powered electrical appliances makes electrocution a real risk in modern kitchens. However, if you have kitchen appliance cover in place for your devices, then the cost of damage will be minimised, but if you don’t, you will have to bear a hefty price. So, you must take the necessary measures to ensure your home’s safety. To avoid electrical fires, keep the following in mind:
- A Part-P-accredited electrician must approve the wiring in the kitchen. It is dangerous and even illegal for people to work on kitchen electrics without the required qualifications. A kitchen is a “special location” containing plumbing and electronic outlets.
- If you notice any damaged wires, get them repaired or replaced immediately. Do not let the problem be unattended, and contact an expert if you have appliance insurance in place, then contact your insurance provider.
- Plugs should be located at least 30 cm horizontally from the sink to minimise the likelihood of water entering the sockets.
- White goods plugs may be difficult to reach, and ideally, a switched-fuse connection unit should be located above the counters so you can turn the appliances off when necessary.
- Never use any plugs or switches when your hands are wet.
- Look for signs of electrical problems, such as scorch marks around plugs, hot plug casings, flickering lights, and fuse boxes that keep tripping. Resolve these problems the moment you notice them.
- Washing machines and other kitchen appliances can use a lot of energy, so do not connect these items together with an extension cord – only use one appliance per plug socket (read our advice about overloading extension cords for more information).
- Switch off and unplug all kitchen items when they are not in use, and do not try to retrieve toast from a toaster or fill up a kettle or iron when they are plugged in.
- Do not use dishwashers, washing machines, or other appliances when you are out of the house or asleep, as you cannot respond to an electrical fire. Do not use appliances that appear to have damaged wires or are overheating.
- Keep your fridge freezer well defrosted—not only will this make it more energy-efficient, but it will also reduce its likelihood of overheating.
- Many kitchen appliances, such as microwaves and ovens, have vents to prevent overheating. Do not cover these vents, such as by storing items on top of your microwave.
- Close your kitchen door before you go to bed every night or when the kitchen is not in use. This will limit the spread of flames, even if you do not have a fire door.
- Set up a plan for what to do in the event of a fire that starts in your kitchen, and ensure that everyone in your home knows this plan.
- Buy fire extinguishers and a fire blanket and keep these within easy reach of the kitchen, and know how to combat electrical fires and how this may not be appropriate for grease and fat fires.
- Buy a smoke alarm for each floor of your home, and check that they work every week.
Have you seen our advice about gas and fire safety in the kitchen?
Get your appliances checked!
Following the above steps mentioned in the article, you can easily avoid electrical emergencies in your kitchen. But to stay on the safer side, you should get a cover for your kitchen appliances so that you don’t run out of pocket in emergencies, i.e., if your appliance faces a sudden breakdown.
Don’t forget, we offer reliable appliance insurance for your kitchen appliances, ensuring peace of mind should you ever suffer a breakdown. Please contact us at 0345 3192 247 for urgent assistance. Our technical teams will run some simple diagnostics to see if it can be fixed over the phone, and if not, they’ll send a manufacturer engineer where possible to look.
Don’t attempt to repair the appliance yourself unless you’re really confident in what you’re doing. A number of things could go wrong, including jamming, electrocution, burns, scalds, cuts, and much more. We’ve got a number of highly skilled engineers up and down the country, so you’ll never be far from help when you need it most.
247 Home Rescue accepts no liability for any injuries or damages you sustain following the advice on this website. If in doubt, seek professional assistance.