Electric Fans

During the hot summer months, an electric fan can be a lifesaver. However, we’ve noticed a number of incidents involving electric fans popping up in the news - many people aren’t aware that these cooling devices can actually get a little too hot! These types of fires can be avoided by following our safety guide. Beat the heat this summer and stay safe with these simple tips!

Electric Fan Safety

Whether you’re using a pedestal, velocity, desk or tower fan, here’s a bit of advice on making sure you do so safely.

Safety First

  • When buying a new electric fan, always buy from a reputable dealer, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Don’t buy an electric fan second-hand – there could be hidden problems that you aren’t aware of.
  • Always register a new electric fan with the manufacturer. That way you can be contacted easily if a safety notice or recall is required. While the chances of a faulty product causing serious damage are small, the risk is still there and returning a faulty product or ordering its repair is very easy to do. To register all your appliances, regardless of age, visit Register My Appliance.
  • Use our free online checker to see if you have any recalled electrical items.
  • Check that your appliance has a UK plug, but if it doesn’t, do not use a UK travel adaptor, but rather have the retailer fit the appliance with a UK plug.
  • Do regular checks of the plug and socket for burn marks, sounds of ‘arcing’ (buzzing or crackling) or if it feels too hot to touch. If you have fuses blowing or circuit-breakers tripping then contact a registered electrician to investigate.
  • Ensure your home is fully protected by an RCD (residual current device), which can be found in your fuse box (also known as a consumer unit).  An RCD is a life-saving device that protects against dangerous electric shock and reduces the risk of electrical fires.
  • If you don’t have RCD protection in your fuse box for your sockets, consider installing an RCD socket or plug to protect you and your property from serious appliance faults.
  • Sometimes, appliance fires are caused by something beyond your control. Smoke alarms and heat detectors are essential in keeping you safe by raising the alarm in the event of a fire. There should be a minimum of one alarm/detector per floor and fit enough to cover all areas where a fire could start, and make sure they are tested regularly.
  • If a fire does start, don't try to fight the fire. Get out and call 999 immediately.

Safe Use

  • If you notice a burning smell or any unusual noises, switch the electric fan off immediately and contact the retailer and/or manufacturer.
  • Don’t leave your fan running overnight or while you are out of the house.
  • Once you’ve had your electric fan for a few years, think about replacing it as older motors can overheat.
  • Don’t balance the fan on the edge of the counter, or anywhere that it could fall off.
  • Take care that children and pets don’t chew on or pull the cable.
  • Always turn off the electric fan at the socket when not in use.