Monday 26th of March 2018

Government Statistics reveal fall in cable related fires

The Approved Cables Initiative (ACI) believes there has been a 15% fall in incidents of accidental electrical fires attributed to wiring, cables or plugs, since it launched its Initiative in 2010.

According to the latest Government Fire Statistics* collated by the Home Office from detailed information on incidents attended by Fire and Rescue Services, since 2010 there has been 962 fewer fires, a significant reduction over the past seven years.

Despite the reduction in overall incidents, the ACI remains concerned by the latest statistics. Of the 29,312 accidental electrical fires in England, 5,241 (18%) were attributed to wiring, cabling or plugs and of these 2,693 (51%) were down to faulty electrical supplies and 1,728 (33%) were caused by faulty appliances and leads.

The ACI was set up in 2010 to highlight the growing issue of substandard cable in the UK. It continues to work to deliver a positive change in the UK cable supply industry; lobbying for tougher legislation to eliminate substandard cable as well as educating, monitoring, reporting and exposing those who cheat and ignore standards.

Llyr Roberts, Director of the ACI said: “These latest Government statistics demonstrate a fall in the number of fires caused by wiring, cables or plugs which is encouraging and an indication that the work we are doing is delivering some success. It is however concerning that nearly a fifth of all accidental electrical fires in England are still caused by wiring, cabling or plugs.

“At the ACI we see a steady stream of substandard cable product. We lobby and campaign for effective legislation to be introduced to address the serious issue of substandard electric cable entering the UK market, but our call is still being ignored. Voluntary co-operation is not enough. All electric cables should be independently third-party approved before being placed on the market, sold and installed in the UK. It is only by adopting such an approach that these figures could be reduced even further.”

The 2016/17 statistics also show that:

  • Since 2010 incidents of accidental electrical fires in wiring, cables and plugs in England, attributed to faulty electrical supplies has fallen from 2,896 to 2,693 – a fall of 7%.
  • Since 2010 incidents of accidental electrical fires in wiring, cables and plugs in England, that were attributed to faulty appliances and leads has fallen from 2,327 to 1,728 – a fall of 25%.
  • In 2016/2017, of the 8,008 accidental electrical fires caused by faulty appliances and
  • leads, 1,728 (21%) were attributable to wiring, cabling and plugs.
  • In 2016/2017, of the 5,905 accidental electrical fires caused by faulty electrical supplies, 2,693 (46%) were attributable to wiring, cabling and plugs.

Advice on making better cable choices can be found by registering and downloading ACI’s cable reference guide at

Note to editors

The Home Office has responsibility for fire services in England. Similar information for devolved administrations are available at Scotland: Fire and Rescue Statistics, Wales: Community safe and Northern Ireland: Fire and Rescue Statistics.

For further advice on this issue and other substandard cable can be found at you can also call 0208 946 6978/07973 636688 or email


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