House Fire Statistics: 2022

According to the Government’s Fire and Rescue Statistics, there were 62,301 domestic fire callouts in England in 2021. 

Of these, cooking appliances were the leading cause of issues, with other household electrical appliances also ranking highly. 

December and January had the highest rates of fire-related callouts to the emergency services. 

Incident Types

To get a breakdown of incident types, Village Heating’s research team analysed emergency service reports to collect information on every fire-related report made to England’s emergency services between 2013 and 2022.

Of all recorded accidental domestic fires, electrical fires accounted for the highest share of incidents. 

116,549 recorded accidental fire incidents were attributed to the misuse of electrical household appliances – making up more than a third (35%*) of all electrical fires. Many of these were attributed to kitchen appliances, including ovens, hot plates, and toasters. Wiring, plugs, and cabling were also very common fire sources.

The Top 10 Household Appliances that are Most Likely to Catch Fire

We analysed data from emergency service reports (from the past 12 months) that detailed the first item ignited in the case of a fire.

This gave us an indication as to which household appliances are most likely to start domestic fires. 

Appliance Total Number of Fires
Cooker (incl. oven) 7,658
Wiring, cabling, plugs 4,721
Ring/hot plate 1,620
Grill/Toaster 1,221
Microwave oven 1,013
Tumble dryer 884
Heater/Fire 742
Deep fat fryer 545
Washing machine 509
Fluorescent lights 353
Fridge/Freezer 325
Other lights 271
Barbecue 259
Central heating/Hot water 232
Extractor fan 221
Dishwasher 213
Hair dryer 64
Personal Computer 27
Electric blanket 27
Vacuum cleaner 27

How to Prevent Oven Fires

An oven can catch fire for several reasons. These include:

  • Food scraps in the oven catching fire
  • Leaving something in the oven for too long, resulting in smoke
  • Splashing of oil and cooking fat, which results in flames
  • Batter from cakes and puddings spilling into ovens and catching fire

To prevent oven fires:

  • Make sure your oven is clean before every use. In particular, check the bottom of your oven for crumbs, bits of food, cooking oil or melted on batter or sauce that has dripped down. 
  • Always use a loud timer when cooking anything in an oven – even if it’s something you think you don’t need to time. Many instances of oven fires happen when people forget they have something in the oven, which can easily happen if they’re busy or if they’re cooking late at night and fall asleep. 
  • In the event of a fire starting in your oven, turn it straight off and keep the door closed. Oxygen fuels fires, so while our instinct might be to get the burning item out of the oven, this could make the fire bigger and cause it to spread further. 
  • When making cakes and pastries, put a slightly larger baking tray underneath your cake tin or baking tray, to catch any batter drips. 
  • Put a cover on food that might splatter. This is especially true for dishes like roasted vegetables and meat that have a lot of oil or cooking fat on them.  When roasting, carefully drain some of the hot grease by removing the pan from the oven every half-hour or so.

How to Prevent Electrical Fires at Home

If you are worried about your plugs, wires or cables catching fire, there are several things you can do to prevent this. 

  • Don’t overload sockets. This can overburden electrical outlets, which is a leading cause of electrical fires. Avoid plugging in too many extension cords – and never plug extensions into other extensions. 
  • Make sure old wiring and cables are replaced regularly. If wires are frayed, do not use them.
  • Check all plugs, especially from older appliances. Do not use appliances with damaged or loose plugs.  
  • Keep portable heaters at least 2M from soft furnishings like rugs, cushions or blankets – and never use them while you’re out or asleep. 
  • Test all your lights before putting them up. If you need to, buy new lights to ensure they meet regulated, up-to-date safety standards. Check all lights for the BSI Kitemark. This is a heart-shaped symbol that indicates that it meets British Standards. 

If you are concerned about the safety of electrical appliances, call our emergency and maintenance electricians in London on 020 3918 6405.  

*Figure: 34.87%. See Accidental Dwelling Fires in England: Cases data sheet for more information.