•  Almost 15,000 domestic fires started by home appliances in the past year
  • More than half (53%) of those fires were due to a cooker/oven
  • 169% increase in dwelling fires due to a faulty vacuum cleaner


Domestic fires caused by home appliances have dropped by a fifth in a decade, according to Home Office data* analysed by home appliances cover provider Prominence Support.

Incident Recording System data on fire statistics published by the Home Office reveals there were just under 15,000 domestic fires (14,977) in England caused by home appliances during the past financial year (2019/20).

This is the lowest number of incidents during any year over the last 10 years, and a 21.5% drop in fires since 2010/2011, when Fire and Rescue Services (FRSs) attended 19,067 dwelling fires started by household appliances.

Domestic appliance fires have dropped by 3.2% over the past 12 months compared to the previous year, when 15,478 incidents were attended by FRSs.

The biggest cause of domestic appliance fires remain cookers (incl. ovens). More than 8,000 blazes were started by a cooker. That’s over half (53%) of all domestic appliance fires tackled by the fire services.

Toasters were the third highest cause of dwelling appliance fires, with 1,368 blazes started by a faulty toaster. Microwave ovens were the cause of 922 fires during 2019/20.

There was a 7% increase in domestic fires started by washing machines comparing the past two financial years, with 624 blazes caused by a washing machine in 2019/20 compared to 558 in 2018/19.

Fire services attended 43 incidents caused by a faulty vacuum-cleaner over the past 12 months, more than double the number in the previous year. There was a 37% increase in fires started by hair dryers in 2019/20.

The following table shows the number of domestic appliance fires over the past 10 years.

Financial YearTotal number of domestic fires caused by home appliances


The following table shows which domestic appliances caused the most fires during 2019/20.

Domestic ApplianceNumber of fires caused by appliance in 2019/20
Cooker incl. Oven8,001
Ring/hot plate1,581
Microwave Oven922
Tumble Dryer668
Washing Machine624
Other cooking appliances235
Deep fat fryer186


The following table shows which appliance fires saw the biggest increase in 2019/20.

Domestic ApplianceNo. of fires caused by appliance in 2018/19No. of fires caused by appliance in 2019/20Increase in fires caused by appliance
Vacuum cleaner1643169%
Gardening equipment615150%
Hair dryer354837%
Spin dryer444911%
Washing machine5586247%


Lorraine Taylor, claims manager at Prominence Support, comments:

“It’s encouraging to see that the number of fires caused by home appliances has been steadily failing over the past decade.

“This will be due to a number of reasons. It could be because people are changing their appliances more frequently before any potentially dangerous faults develop.

“But upgrading an appliance every 2-3 years, particularly a larger item such as a washing machine, can be expensive.

“Most of us won’t keep a washing machine or tumble dryer for 10 years, even with a wide range of affordable models on the market.

“But why replace an appliance if it’s basically in good working order. The trick is to keep on top of faults and maintenance and not let a minor fault turn into a potentially dangerous fault.

“Taking out appliance insurance is an affordable option to extend the life of your appliances.

“By having faults repaired straight away you can keep your appliances in top condition, and you won’t need to replace them every few years.

“And if you insure appliances and have an appliance that is beyond repair, and you have an insurance product that offers repair or replace, then you should be able to get a similar spec replacement.

“Not every fault starts a fire, but if you have an appliance checked immediately a minor fault  develops, then it can be repaired before it becomes a major and a lethal one.”

About Prominence Support

Prominence Support offers a range of insurance products for domestic consumers; providing insurance cover for home and kitchen appliances.

We have insured thousands of customers and our core objective is to offer comprehensive, competitive and affordable cover with supreme protection and coverage.