Misuse of stoves and cooktops is the leading cause of deaths in electrical home fires. The improved fire analysis process in Sweden allows the authorities to dig deeper into the root causes of fires.

According to The Swedish National Electrical Safety Board, a total of 14-18 people died in electrical home fires in Sweden during 2020. 9-11 of the cases were due to improper use of stoves and cooktops, and majority of the deceased were in their 70s or older.

Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) introduced a new analysis process and a new register of fire deaths in 2020. The new register gives us a better understanding about the reasons behind fatal fires. The recent findings by The Swedish National Electrical Safety Board show that misuse of stove is the leading cause of fire deaths in electrical home fires.

Fires by faulty equipment are something that can be reduced through supervision and market control. Misuse, on the other hand, needs different measures.

Nordic fire safety

Other Nordic countries have very similar problems. In Finland, for example, carelessness while cooking has been the leading cause of home fires for years. To protect the most vulnerable, Finland now requires stove guards to be installed to all new stoves and cooktops in senior and service housing, as well as in apartments for special groups.

Norway is a pioneer in fire safety, and stove guards have been mandatory there to all new residential buildings since 2010. Stove guards, electric smoke alarms, and better cooperation between different instances have reduced fire deaths by almost a third during the past ten years.

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