What can cause a home fire?

Fire Safety Hoarding 16/04/2024

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We do everything we can to prevent a fire from starting in your home but it's important to know what you can do to stay on top of any potential hazards that could start a home fire.

We’ve pulled together some guidance on things that we don’t tend to think about twice, that could lead to starting a fire.

Cluttered homes

Cluttered homes can make it difficult to safely evacuate in the event of a fire and can lead to exit routes being blocked. A cluttered home can also increase the speed of a fire spreading if there are flammable items around such as cardboard, newspapers, aerosols sprays and more.

Sometimes homes can be cluttered due to hoarding or just simply having more belongings than you have space for. Either way, it’s really important to check that your fire exit routes are always clear and that you don’t have too many possessions lying around.

Hoarding is when you have so many things at home that you’re unable to manage the clutter and find it difficult or even impossible to throw things away, so it begins to grow and impact your day-to-day life. You can find more information about hoarding, here.

Tumble dryers

Tumble dryers can be life savers when it’s raining all week, and you really need to get the washing dried in time for work or school. However, if you don’t clean and maintain your machine, the excess lint can build up over time and catch fire. So, we advise regularly cleaning your tumble dryer and emptying out the lint tray to avoid any build up and potential fires.

The fire services team also advise not to leave your tumble dryer running when you’re asleep or out of the house and to also keep flammable items well away.

Chip pans

It’s now recommended that we use thermostatically controlled deep fat fryers instead of chip pans but, if this is all that you have, here are a few things to consider to stay safe.

  • Never fill the chip pan more than a third full of oil
  • Never leave your chip pan unattended, it only takes a second for something to go wrong and
  • Make sure that the food is thoroughly dry before placing it in the oil.

In case of a chip pan fire, don’t try to move the pan and never throw water on the pan as it could explode. When it’s safe to do so, call 999 and ask for the Fire Service.


E-scooters are being used more and more everyday as a means of commuting locally to different places. They generally have rechargeable lithium-ion batteries which we all use, but there’s a strong risk of fire if they’ve overcharged, damaged, or even mishandled.

You should always use the manufacturer approved charger and battery for the e-scooter for longevity and avoid leaving it on charge overnight or when you’re out of the house. Find out more about e-scooter and e-bike safety.


Soon the weather will be warming up, which will be perfect for garden activities and BBQs, but we do need to be careful and remain vigilant.

BBQs can stay hot for hours so make sure to always keep children, pets and any garden games clear of the area. When cooking, you should always keep a bucket of water or sand nearby for emergencies and, most importantly, never leave it unattended.

Fire safety is so important to you and your family, so if you spot something that might be a fire risk, please report it to us so we can look into it immediately. Read more on fire safety in your home here.