An oven is indispensable in any household, but if not properly used and maintained it can pose a serious fire hazard.
- When buying a new oven, always buy from a reputable dealer, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions about installing, using and cleaning.
- Always register a new appliance with the manufacturer. That way you can be contacted easily if a safety notice or recall is required. While the chances of a faulty product causing serious damage are small, the risk is still there and returning a faulty product or ordering its repair is very easy to do. To register all your appliances, regardless of age, visit Register My Appliance.
- Use our free online checker to see if you have any recalled electrical items.
- If your oven has a plug make sure that it’s a UK plug. If it doesn’t, do not use a UK travel adaptor, but rather ask the retailer to fit the appliance with a UK plug.
- Do regular checks of the plug and socket (where accessible) for burn marks, sounds of ‘arcing’ (buzzing or crackling), or if it feels too hot to touch.
- Ensure your home is fully protected by an RCD (residual current device), which can generally be found in your fuse box (also known as a consumer unit). An RCD is a life-saving device that protects against dangerous electric shock and reduces the risk of electrical fires.
- If you don’t have RCD protection in your fuse box for your sockets, consider installing an RCD socket or plug to protect you and your property from serious appliance faults.
- Sometimes, appliance fires are caused by something beyond your control. Smoke alarms and heat detectors are essential in keeping you safe by raising the alarm in the event of a fire. There should be a minimum of one alarm/detector per floor and fit enough to cover all areas where a fire could start, and make sure they are tested regularly.
- If a fire does start, don’t try to fight the fire. Get out and call 999 immediately to raise the alarm.
- Never leave food cooking unattended, even if you’re just popping out for a minute.
- Don’t use the oven as a storage cupboard – someone might forget and turn it on.
- Make sure you keep the oven clean – grease and splatters of food can catch fire.
- Never use water on a grease fire!
- Keep your oven gloves, tea towels and other flammable materials away from heat.
- Always turn off the oven when not in use.
- If you have a gas oven and smell gas, open a window and leave the room before calling a Gas Safe engineer.