In addition to official statistics, Electrical Safety First also collects media clippings relating to fires caused by items of electrical equipment.
Whilst these may not be as accurate as the official statistics, they offer an indication of current trends and are available much sooner than other statistical sets, which often take a year or more to become available. Additionally, the news clippings can often contain a level of detail absent from the official statistics, such as the appliance brand and how exactly the incident occurred.
However it should be noted that the official figures are likely to be substantially higher as not all incidents are reported. Of note is the absence of clippings relating to electrical shocks, which are much less visible than fire incidents and so remain underreported.
So far this year the number of recorded incidents from January to mid-June is 243 – or approximately 40 per calendar month on average.
Breakdown of most common appliance fires from news clippings:
- Tumble Dryers: 85
- Washing Machines: 44
- Dishwashers: 28
- Fridge Freezers: 16
- Electric Blankets: 10
- Other: 60
White goods totalled 173 incidents over this period – 71% of all recorded incidents. This is not unexpected as these products are typically either constantly left on, as in the case of fridge freezers, or receive a much higher level of usage than other appliances.