You may not be aware that a very high percentage of accidental house fires start in the kitchen. Statistics researched by the UK’s government show that a large number of reported fires are in fact caused by people misusing electrical cooking appliances such as microwaves, ovens and dishwashers.
To start changing statistics it must be our priority to take extra care when using our electrical appliances. The combination of water, hot surfaces, flexible cables and electricity can be very dangerous.
GO Electrical have come up with a few ideas to help you stay safe, but please always have these checked with an electrical survey to be sure.
- Ensure that your sockets or switches have been installed at a safe distance from water areas such as the kitchen sink or the hob. This is supposed to be 30cm apart.
- Some of your appliances such as the fridge for example may be integrated making sockets difficult to get to. If possible these appliances are best controlled by a switch fuse plate fitted in a position where it can be easily accessed.
- All sockets in the house where it is possible to supply portable equipment outdoors using extension leads and the like should be protected by an RCD (residua current device). This can be installed by an electrician.
- Never use switches, sockets or any other electrical equipment when your hands are wet.
- Its best not to leave appliances such as cookers, dishwashers and washing machines running while out of the house.
- Regularly check your most used appliances flexible leads are in good condition, things like the toaster and kettle.
- Only repair appliances of you are competent and never try and repair anything whilst it is still plugged in.
- Never try and unblock the toaster while it is plugged in, and especially not with a metal knife as there are often live parts inside.
- Make sure you regularly clean your oven and grill– a build up of fat and grease is a cause of fires.
- Check your sockets are not overloaded with too many electrical appliances as this can lead to overheating.
- Avoid storing objects on top of appliances like the microwave as it can stop ventilation.
- Defrost your fridge and freezer at least once a year to ensure these appliances continue to work properly
- Make sure you have a working smoke detector and that you test them regularly in case something does go wrong