The Isle of Wight has been ranked 27th in the country for having the most number of electrical fires per 10,000 people, making it a fairly safe place to live according to Electrical Safety First (ESF).
Between April 2015 and April 2016 there were 43 electrical fires out of a total of 61 domestic fires, representing 3.08 electrical fires per 10,000 people living on the Island. Those fires resulted in 2 fatalities and casualties.
Neighbouring county Hampshire ranks 26th in the table of 44 counties, with 3.09 electrical fires per 10,000 people – but Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service dealt with a total of 39 fatalities and causalities.
While there was been a general drop in domestic fires nationally, going from 33,279 in 2012-13 to 31,377 in 2015-16, the percentage with an electrical origin has remained around half. Across England there were a total of 18,424 electrical fires in 2015-16. These caused 2,453 fatalities and casualties, that’s an average of 47 each week – or 7 a day.
Domestic electrical white goods, such as dishwashers, tumble dryers, and fridge freezers are one of the leading causes of electrical fires in England. Last year, 1,873 fires were caused by white goods, the equivalent of over 5 fires per day.
Electrical Safety First is calling on the government to take action and come forward with a package of measures that will include:
• A target of a 10% reduction in fires of electrical origin over the next 5 years.
• Introducing mandatory 5-yearly electrical checks in the private rented sector.
• Expanding and investing in the Home Office’s Fire Kills campaign to focus more on electricity throughout the year.
Phil Buckle, Chief Executive at Electrical Safety First commented:
“Faulty white goods, a lack of mandatory electrical safety checks in the private rented sector, 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 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.”
For advice and safety tips on protecting your home from electrical fires and accidents visit www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/saferhomes.