Updated on 18th May, 2023 by Martin Astley
One of the most devastating sights for a homeowner is seeing their appliance catch fire and spread throughout their home. A sudden fire caused by your appliance not only threatens the safety of your home but also poses a serious risk to the well-being of your family.
In this article, I will discuss which appliances are more likely to catch fire, along with some relevant facts and figures that you should know to avoid future incidents. The data will be discussed based on previous and recent years.
Almost 12,000 house fires were caused by faulty and dangerous domestic appliances between 2011 and March 2014, Which? has revealed, announcing the results of research that shows which home appliances are most likely to lead to a fire home emergency.
Common causes of housefires between 2011 and 2014
- 14% of fires caused by washing machines accounted for 1723 fires.
- 12% were due to tumble dryers, which accounted for 1456 fires.
- 11% were due to dishwashers, which accounted for 1324 fires.
- 9% were due to cookers and 1080 fires.
- 7% were due to fridges, accounting for 861 fires.
- 5% were due to central heating systems, accounting for 606 fires.
- 4% were due to toasters or grills, accounting for 495 fires.
- 3% were due to television sets, accounting for 372 fires.
- 2% were due to washers dryers, accounting for 225 fires.
- 1% were due to irons, accounting for 92 fires.
However, in 2020–2021, the UK recorded 33180 fire incidents, of which 46% were caused by cooking appliances.
Let’s have a look at the facts and figures recorded for the years 2020–2021
|City||Number of Fire Incidents||Number of Fires per 1 million inhabitants|
Common Causes of Housefires for 2020–2021
|Cause||Number of House Fires|
|Matches and Candles||1,032|
|Space Heating Appliances||784|
To summarise the data, it highlights that kitchen appliances are more prone to catching fire. That’s why you should think about investing in a kitchen appliance cover. By doing that, not only will you be covered for the hefty cost of repair, but in some cases, you might also be compensated for replacements.
Which kitchen appliances are more likely to catch fire?
1. Toasters and toast ovens
Toasters and toast ovens will likely catch fire when the appliance gets overheated due to negligence. Also, toasters and toast ovens detect fires due to damage caused to the machine, resulting in its components getting loose and making the appliance malfunction.
Microwaves are also prone to catching fire if not operated safely and correctly. Although it is a safe machine, it can easily catch fire when you plug or unplug it improperly or set up too much heating time. Other reasons might include electrical faults or wiring issues.
Refrigerators, whose purpose is to keep our food cold and fresh, can also catch fire due to faults within the electrical components, short circuits within the switch, or even the light of your refrigerator that might stay on due to specific defects when the fridge is closed.
4. Ranges and stoves
When you use ranges and stoves for cooking, you should use these appliances carefully, as they are one of the most common reasons that cause a fire in your kitchen. If you have a gas stove, check for gas leaks, and if your stove is getting rusty and old, then don’t overuse it and get it replaced. Talking about ranges, electric ranges are more likely to cause a fire than gas ranges. Additionally, Class B fires, i.e., grease fires, can be caused when cooking oil or grease becomes too hot; they spread out quickly and get out of hand in no time.
Dishwashers are crucial appliances used heavily for domestic use to clean, wash, and dry your dishes. Although they are less likely to catch fire, they can catch fire if not maintained properly, as their internal components might get damaged, causing the machine to malfunction and catch fire. The dishwasher catches fire because sometimes the water gets in contact with the wires due to damage or faults in the appliance.
What appliance brands are the most dangerous?
According to the data provided by the government between 2011 and 2014, 12% of all washing machine fires involving an identifiable brand—or 175 washing machine fires in total—involved Hoover-branded appliances, even though the consumer advocacy group’s market intelligence suggests that Hoover’s overall market share is under 12%.
Furthermore, 410 dishwasher fires, or 38% of the total number of fires involving identifiable brands, involved Hotpoint models, leading Which? to believe that Hotpoint dishwashers are disproportionately affected by the fire.
Nonetheless, Hotpoint told Which? that it can’t draw any conclusions from the data presented, arguing that the market share figures may be incorrect and that it is impossible to establish information from a relatively small group of incidents accurately.
On the other hand, Samsung appeared relatively safe; only six of the 1,509 washing machine fires involving identifiable brands were related to the brand. Miele represented just three of the 1,069 dishwasher fires, indicating that their customers may be at lower risk of home emergencies than the average.
Appliance brands that caused more fires between 2019 and 2020
|#||Brand||Number of House Fires|
The names of the brands that are to cause fire are collected from various sources, and the data provided is for a certain time. I am not by any means indicating that you should avoid buying appliances of these brands, and brand names that I have not mentioned don’t mean that they do not cause a fire.
Which? suggested that some appliance manufacturers could “drag their feet” regarding product recalls. For instance, during the inquest into the death of Santosh Benjamin Muttiah, who was killed in a house fire caused by a faulty Beko fridge freezer, it was discovered that independent risk assessors had highlighted the problems with the appliance two years and five months before Beko announced a product recall.
Executive Director Richard Lloyd said it is “crucial” for dangerous products to be recalled “as quickly as possible.”
He pointed out that dishwashers, tumble dryers, and washing machines are often left on when the house is unoccupied or overnight. He said it was “shocking” that these appliances could pose serious dangers.
Have you broken down an appliance?
Call us today for urgent assistance at 0345 3192 247. 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. Also, we can help you with appliance covers for your white goods to safeguard you against sudden appliance breakdowns.
Don’t attempt to repair the appliance unless you’re confident in what you’re doing. Several things could go wrong, including jamming, electrocution, burns, scalds, cuts, etc. We’ve got several highly skilled engineers up and down the country, so you’ll never be far from help when needed.