People are being advised on reducing the risk of fires occurring in the homes as part of Electrical Fire Safety Week.

Hertfordshire County Council’s fire and rescue service is warning that white household goods, such as fridges, freezers, dishwashers, cookers, washing machines and tumble dryers continue to be a source of fires.

The county council’s cabinet member for Community Safety, Terry Hone, said: “Electrical fires account for almost half of all accidental house fires in the UK.

“All residents should be taking steps to prevent these types of fires in their homes and can easily reduce their risk by following some simple advice.”

Follow these steps to reduce the risk in your home:

• Read and follow the instruction manuals of white goods and make a note of any warnings. If you lose the instructions, then check the manufacturer’s website to see if you can download them.

• Take note of strange noises and ensure your property is kept clean and in a useable condition ¬ – if your appliance starts to make strange noises or takes longer to work, stop using it and have it checked. Regular good housekeeping will also help, for example clean out the vent hose on a tumble dryer, clean the fatty grills on a cooker, and clean the dust vents on a fridge.

• Don’t leave appliances unattended when in use – unless the appliance is designed for continued use, such as a fridge. Don’t leave appliances running if your home is unoccupied or while you are sleeping.

• Register your appliance – fewer than half of us register our appliances. However, registering your appliances allows manufacturers to trace the appliance if recalled or to undertake safety repairs. Visit:

• Check whether your appliance has been recalled – you can check whether an appliance that you have, or intend to buy second hand, has been recalled and get further advice from the organisation Electrical Safety First. Visit

• Check up on elderly family and friends – take the time to help any of your older friends and family that may need assistance with registering their appliances and checking for recalls.

• Install safety devices – we recommend that all homes install and maintain safety devices such as smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and consider possible escape routes in the event of a fire in their home.

The fire and rescue service also offers free home safety checks. For more information visit