The Electrical Safety Council have launched Electrical Fire Safety Week [24-30 Sept] by releasing new figures showing that the number of 'blunder fires' has risen by 3,500.

Appliance misuse is already the top cause of all fires in British homes with millions of people committing everyday safety 'blunders' without realising the risk of fire, prompting ESC and CFOA to commission the new report.

Vij Randeniya CFOA President said: "We support the ESC's campaign and the partnership with local Fire and Rescue Services around the country.

"A house fire can have devastating and long term effects, not only losing belongings, memories and possibly lives, but also in terms of mental scars and trauma. Many fires can be prevented by taking a few simple safety steps, but the ESC's research has exposed a shocking lack of public awareness in this area." 

According to the report 'Britain's biggest blunders' were:
· Creating a fire hazard by using the microwave as an additional surface and blocking air vents (33%)
· Increasing the risk of serious fire spreading by leaving the tumble dryer running unattended or overnight (9%)
· Blocking air vents by failing to clean behind their fridge/freezer (44%)
· Overloading adaptor sockets, causing an unsafe rise in temperature (16%)
· Leaving an electrical appliance on while unattended, only to be alerted by a burning smell (9%)

Overall, a staggering three quarters of UK adults confessed to committing at least one simple safety blunder or misuse of an electrical appliance and ESC believe that there is a clear link between this lack of understanding and the surge in 'blunder fires'.

Fires caused by misuse of appliances have increased by over a third since 2009 despite there being an overall decline in house fires, with chip pan fires plummeting by two thirds and fires started through smoking dropping by a third. 

Phil Buckle, Director General of the Electrical Safety Council said: "People think that they are behaving safely but the majority of people we surveyed had put themselves at risk by unknowingly making a safety blunder. Fires caused by misuse of appliances - the vast majority of which are electrical - are so easy to prevent but they will keep increasing unless people understand the simple things that can and do cause fires. 

"Today we are issuing a warning to consumers: make sure you're informed about electrical safety to avoid the increasing risk of injury or death by electrical fire. Most accidents are preventable and the ESC is here to help you. Protect yourself, your home and your family by following our simple tips, installing RCD protection in your fuse box or testing your current knowledge in our Facebook blunder quiz." 

To find out ESC's top ten tips to avoid blunders visit 

Posted 25/09/2012 by