New figures reveal that Greater Manchester is a hot bed for electrical fires as residents are urged to register their electrical items to avoid a potentially catastrophic fire. Cookers, toasters and microwaves are among the appliances causing the most harm.
Electrical Safety First reveals that 860 fires caused by electrical appliances[i] occurred in the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service area over the past year, the equivalent of more than two every single day.
Further analysis reveals Manchester is responsible for more electrical fires caused by appliances per 10,000 people than any other area in England, which contributed to 106 recorded casualties or fatalities[ii]. The Charity reveals its findings as it launches a new tongue-in-cheek video advising residents on how to keep their appliances safe.
A breakdown of the causes of these fires by appliance shows that cookers and ovens are the biggest instigators in Greater Manchester, causing 412 electrical fires during 2017/18 – that’s 48% of the total, leading to 55 casualties or fatalities. Grills and toasters were the second biggest offenders contributing to 133 fires (15% of the total) over the course of the year, followed by microwaves and ring or hot plates which both led to 94 fires (11%) in the area each.
No. of Fires in Greater Manchester per Appliance 2017/18
Appliance No. of Fires No. of casualties/fatalities
Cooker incl. Oven 412 55
Grill/toaster 133 12
Microwave 94 11
Ring/hot plate 94 8
Tumble Dryer 31 8
Greater Manchester’s electrical fire problem becomes particularly clear when its numbers are put into context with the rest of England. It’s the only region in which more than three fires caused by electrical appliances per 10,000 people were reported last year, with an exact figure of 3.09 – considerably higher than its closest rival, Bedfordshire, which had 2.78 electrical fires reported per 10,000 people. The Greater Manchester rate was 46% more than that of London (2.12 per day) and 20% more than the wider Lancashire area (2.58 per day), comfortably confirming the region as the electrical appliance fire capital of the country as the below table demonstrates.
Top 10 Locations in England for Electrical Fires 2017/18
Fire Service Electrical Fires caused by domestic appliance No. of electrical fires per 10,000 people
Devon and Somerset
To combat these alarming figures, Electrical Safety First is urging Greater Manchester residents to register their electrical appliances to make sure that manufacturers can contact them if there is a problem. Research carried out by the Charity revealed that 43% of those living in and around Manchester did not register the last item they purchased[iii], while a worrying nearly a third mistakenly believed that manufacturers want them to register their appliance so they can share details with third parties[iv]. More than half believed it was a way for manufacturers to send them promotional marketing material[v]. More than 1 in 3 of those surveyed admitted they don’t know how to register their electrical appliances at all[vi].
To help spread the message of the dangers of electrical fires caused by appliances, Electrical Safety First has created an amusing video featuring an irate grandmother who shares her words of wisdom for keeping appliances safe. To watch the video, click here.
Emma Drackford, Director of Communications at Electrical Safety First said: “It’s really worrying to see Greater Manchester’s electrical fire rates so high compared to the rest of England. More than 2 fires that occurred every single day over the past year in the city were a result of a domestic appliance. By encouraging more people living in the area to register their appliances we hope to reduce the number of these fires occurring in Manchester in the future. If people don’t register their appliances they will be unaware if there is a problem with their product, leaving them at a much greater risk of experiencing an electrical fire in their own home. We hope our video engages people in Greater Manchester and although it takes a humorous approach, the serious safety messages are vital in protecting people from dangerous electrical fires.”