Faulty appliances cause 43 fires a week in England, research finds

england appliance

Faulty appliances cause a shocking 43 fires a week in England, and big brand names are responsible. Everyday household appliances caused 15,000 accidental fires in homes across England between April 2019 and March 2020, research by ElectricalDirect found.

The study revealed that cookers, toasters, and hobs were the most likely to cause fires. Cookers were responsible for 8,000 accidental fires in 2019/20, 53% of total appliance fires in England. Hot plates and toasters came second and third, causing 11% and 9% of fires respectively.

The most common causes for accidental appliance fires were placing household items too close to sources of heat, misuse of appliances and reported faults.

The top 10 household appliances most likely to cause an accidental fire

Rank Appliance Number of fires caused in 2019/20 % change 
1 Cooker incl. oven 8,001 -3.50%
2 Ring/ hot plate (separate appliance) 1,581 -2.95%
3 Grill/ Toaster 1,368 -4.00%
4 Microwave oven 922 -7.80%
5 Tumble dryer 668 4.70%
6 Washing machine 624 6.85%
7 Fridge/ Freezer 215 -6.11%
8 Dishwasher 194 -7.62%
9 Deep fat fryer 186 2.20%
10 Extractor fan 182 -0.55%

(Number of household appliances that caused fires in England in 2019/20 and percentage difference in 2019/20 vs 2018/19)

Faulty appliances accounted for 15% of appliance fires

Of the accidental appliance fires in 2019/20, 2.2k (15%) of them were caused by the appliance being faulty, which is 43 a week.

The biggest culprits were washing machines, accountable for nearly a quarter (23%) of the faulty appliance fires. Tumble dryers (20%) and cookers (9%) followed.

Appliances that caused the most fires due to being faulty

Rank Appliance Type Number of fires due to being faulty (2019/20)
1 Washing machine 520
2 Tumble dryer 459
3 Cooker incl. oven 201
4 Fridge/ Freezer 181
5 Dishwasher 171
6 Extractor fan 118
7 Grill/ Toaster 116
8 Other domestic style appliance 96
9 Microwave oven 74
10 Washer/ Dryer combined 54

(Number of faulty household appliances caused in England in 2019/20)

Hotpoint appliances caused the most fault-led fires in 2019/20

The data revealed that Hotpoint appliances caused the most faulty appliance fires last year, with 311 recorded in 2019/20. The majority of which were washing machines (112) and tumble dryers (105).

The second brand at fault for these dodgy appliances is Indesit, 183 reported fires. The biggest offenders were tumble dryers (69) and washing machines (67).

Beko came third, whose goods caused 150 fires in 2019/20. Of these, the majority were washing machines (52) and tumble dryers (29), although dishwashers (27) and fridge/ freezers (26) weren’t far behind.

Brands whose appliances caused the most fires due to being faulty

Rank Brand Number of faulty appliance fires (2019/20)
1 Hotpoint 311
2 Indesit 183
3 Beko 150
4 Bosch 100
5 Hoover 93
6 Candy 59
7 Zanussi 47
8 White Knight 39
9 Whirlpool 33
10 Bush 32

(Number of faulty household appliances by the brand that caused in England in 2019/20)

ElectricalDirect is urging those that purchase new appliances to ensure they are registering them and to keep an eye on the UK Government’s Product Recall page

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