I witnessed a heated argument at the weekend between two friends, one of whom also works in the insurance industry. She knows from experience how dangerous it is to leave electrical appliances unattended while they’re running. So she was horrified to hear that the other friend often leaves a dishwasher or tumble dryer going when she goes out or during the night. After being presented with overwhelming evidence of the dangers, the latter agreed never to do it again.
This subject was also brought up in an article in The Guardian recently, which was about a new tariff offering cheap electricity overnight. This can save significant amounts of money, but quite rightly the article pointed out that this is a fire risk.
According to the most recent statistics, the most common time for fires to be reported is between 8pm and 9pm: nine per cent of all fires occur during this one-hour period. Only 11 per cent of fires happen between midnight and 5am, but critically these caused a fifth of all deaths in Great Britain in 2013-2014. The key point is that, if a fire breaks out at night while you’re asleep, there is far less time to react and escape.
A number of tumble dryer fires have hit the headlines in recent months, and apparently the London Fire Brigade attends a fire caused by white goods on a daily basis. Dishwashers are also extremely dangerous: how many of us put these on before we go to bed?
So the moral of the story is: change your habits and run your white goods when you’re at home and more importantly when you’re awake.