Electrical fires are Finland’s most common fire hazard

Some practical advice from experts includes not using the sauna or your oven for drying clothes!

File picture of smoke alarm / Credit: iStock

Electrical faults were the most likely cause of domestic fires in Finland last year, according to the latest figures from the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency Tukes.

Electronic devices caused more than 2500 fires during 2018, and killed 11 people. It’s the lowest number in the last five years – and on average since 2010, 15 peole have been killed in fires caused by electrical faults.

During 2018 ovens and stoves caused 950 fires; while lamps caused about 200 fires. Heaters were next with 140 fires.

Jukka Lepistö, Senior Inspector at Tukes, says the reason for fire accidents caused by an electrical device is often due to human negligence, or using the device contrary to operating and installation instructions; negligence or damage to the device.

“The most common cause of the fire is forgetting the stove, or accidentally switching it on, whereby the food or burning material left on the stove has ignited. Drying laundry on the stove, or heating objects in the stove which are not meant to be there, are a common cause of fire” he says.

Lepistö adds that electric fires can be prevented by using electrical appliances properly, and with correct supervision.

“For example, when preparing a dish, you should keep watch to the stove, and when you are using the washing machines, or other devices, you should be at home. Other practical instructions for avoiding electric fires are: do not store products on the stove, focus on cooking, do not use the sauna as a store and do not dry the laundry there” Lepistö advises.