“In Finnish residential buildings, around 3,000 fires occur each year for which the emergency services are called out (source: Finnish Rescue Services’ Pocket Statistics). Minor fires, sufficiently early-stage to be extinguished by the occupant, probably happen much more often. About half of these fires are caused either by electrical appliances or cooking.

An electrical fire typically smoulders before breaking out into an uncontrolled blaze. During the smouldering phase, enough smoke is generated to trigger a smoke detector. At this point, switching off the power to the appliance, or removing the burnt food or object from the stove, is usually enough to extinguish the fire. An expert at the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency has stated that up to half of electrical fires could be avoided through these simple measures.

A study by VTT, ”Tulipalojen ympäristövaikutukset” (The environmental effects of fires), reveals that around 4.8 million kilogrammes of building material burn each year in residential fires in Finland. This results in around 7.8 million kilogrammes of CO2 emissions. In addition, a significant quantity of other fine particles harmful to humans are released into the atmosphere by fires. These figures take no account of the climate impact of rebuilding. This may be a small share of total CO2 emissions generated in Finland, but it represents the same level of annual CO2 emissions as more than 2,500 cars.

If P&C Insurance Company Ltd. states that technical shut-off solutions in appliances have led to good results in preventing electrical fires. If has been marketing shut-off systems, such as stove guards and smart fire alarms, in the belief that their widespread use will have an impact on preventing electrical fires.”

Henrik Rantanen
Product Manager, P&P Property
If P&C Insurance Ltd.