Hot spot list reveals most dangerous places to live in Scotland according to electrical fires

21 November 2017

Strict Embargo: 00:01 Wednesday 22nd November 2017

Research by Electrical Safety First reveals areas most at risk of electrical fires as the charity calls on the Scottish Government to take immediate action

Last year, there were more electrical fires per 10,000[i] people in West Dunbartonshire compared to anywhere else in the country, making it the most dangerous place to live in Scotland according to a new list compiled by Electrical Safety First. There was a total of 117 fires caused electricity, representing 13 fires per 10,000 people.

Dundee followed with 175 electrical fires, representing 12 fires per 10,000 people. Inverclyde and Aberdeen are the third and fourth most risky places to live, with around 11 fires per 10,000 people and a total of 91 and 245 fires respectively. Fifth on the ‘hot spot’ list was Glasgow (615) with 10 fires per 10,000 people.

Electrical fires are having a greater impact in Scotland compared with the rest of the UK. In 2016, there were 3,724 electrical fires out of a total of 4,969 domestic fires, resulting in 9 deaths and 598 casualties. This represents 7 fires per 10,000 people living in Scotland. This is considerably higher than in England where Greater Manchester has been identified as the most dangerous place to live, with just over 5 fires per 10,000 people.

Domestic electrical white goods, such as dishwashers, tumble dryers, and fridge freezers are one of the leading causes of electrical fires in Scotland. Last year, 242[ii] fires were caused by white goods, the equivalent of over four fires per week.[iii]

Electrical house fires are being caused by an inconsistency between electrical safety standards in private and social housing – and even more so in relation to owner-occupied homes, misuse of electricity by consumers, faulty appliances and electrical distribution faults. We believe these must be tackled in tandem to make a real impact on the problem.

Electrical Safety First is calling on the Scottish government to take action and come forward with a package of measures that will include:

  • A target of a 10% reduction in house fires of electrical origin over the next five years.
  • Five-yearly electrical safety checks to be extended to all social housing - to bring requirements in line with the private rented sector.
  • Mandatory electrical safety checks in owner-occupied properties – or, as a first step, in owner-occupied flats.

Wayne Mackay, Deputy Public Affairs Manager at Electrical Safety First commented:

“Faulty white goods, a disparity in electrical safety standards for housing tenures, and misuse of electricity are a toxic mix that is causing hundreds of people to be killed or injured across the country each year. Immediate action is needed by the Scottish Government to reduce this number. If the government fails to implement these changes then it is likely that we will see further tragedies such as those seen at Grenfell Tower, Shepherd’s Court and Lakanal House.”

You can sign up and support this campaign by visiting

For advice and safety tips on protecting your home from electrical fires and accidents visit, or search #SaferHomes on social media.


For more information please contact:

Sophia Alipour T: 07866 702069 E:

Editors’ Notes:

  • Electrical Safety First is a UK charity dedicated to reducing and preventing damage, injuries and death caused by electricity. More information can be found at
  • Electrical Safety First also has a microsite that advises consumers on white goods safety. People can find expert advice on ways to ensure your white goods are safe, a searchable tool to check if any of your products have been recalled and advice on how to register your appliance. Visit
  • Electrical Safety First recognises that more densely populated cities are likely to result in a higher number of electrical fires, and by focusing on the number per 10,000 people we have been able to identify areas where people are most at risk.
  • Mandatory five-yearly electrical safety checks for the private rented sector were introduced in Scotland in December 2015. The legislation doesn’t cover those in social housing, or those living in their own homes – despite the fact that they comprise of more than 80% of the total housing mix.

                              Electrical Safety First’s Hot Spot List*

Council area Total fires of electrical origin 2016 Electrical fires per 10,000 people Total fatalities Total casualties
1)      West Dunbartonshire 117 13.06 0 13
2)      Dundee City 175 11.81 0 38
3)      Inverclyde 91 11.45 1 20
4)      Aberdeen City 245 10.64 2 20
5)      Glasgow City 615 10.14 0 110
6)      Clackmannanshire 51 9.93 0 14
7)      East Ayrshire 109 8.93 1 15
8)      Renfrewshire 151 8.65 0 15
9)      North Ayrshire 116 8.52 0 17
10)   Perth & Kinross 117 7.80 0 21
11)   North Lanarkshire 232 6.86 1 47
12)   Edinburgh City 340 6.82 1 64
13)   Argyll & Bute 59 6.79 0 7
14)   Stirling 60 6.46 0 4
15)   Angus 70 5.99 0 11
16)   Midlothian 52 5.95 0 7
17)   South Ayrshire 66 5.87 0 9
18)   Scottish Borders 64 5.61 0 12
19)   Aberdeenshire 138 5.27 0 12
20)   East Dunbartonshire 56 5.24 1 15
21)   South Lanarkshire 165 5.22 0 27
22)   East Renfrewshire 48 5.16 0 4
23)   Falkirk 81 5.11 0 21
24)   Fife 179 4.86 0 15
25)   Dumfries & Galloway 68 4.54 0 7
26)   Na h-Eileanan Siar 11 4.06 0 6
27)   Moray 38 3.98 0 3
28)   Highland 91 3.89 2 29
29)   East Lothian 40 3.88 0 6
30)   West Lothian 67 3.75 0 8
31)   Shetland Islands 8 3.45 0 1
32)   Orkney Islands 4 1.85 0 0


  • * Council areas have been ranked according to the total number of electrical fires per 10,000 people. Population size of each council area obtained from National Records of Scotland, 8.6.17.

                            Make your home a #SaferHome                   

Tips for safer white goods:

  • Buy from a reputable dealer/manufacturer and never buy second hand white goods.
  • Always register your appliance with the manufacturer so you can be notified if there’s a problem.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions
  • If you’re concerned about an appliance in your home, use Electrical Safety First’s online product checker to see if it has been recalled.


[i] All data unless otherwise stated are from Freedom of Information requests, September 2017.

[ii] Analysis of fire data provided by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service for the period 1 Jan 2016 - 31 Dec 2016.

‘White goods’ includes domestic fire data for: washing machines, tumble dryers, spin dryers, electric cookers including oven, dishwashers, fridge/freezers and combined washer/dryers. Only fires caused by faulty appliances and leads and faulty fuel supplies are included.


[iii] 242 fires is the equivalent of 4.65 fires per week