Householders in Britain are putting themselves in danger by taking risks with kitchen appliances.
According to the Electrical Safety Council, the misuse of appliances has led to "an alarming rise" in the number of house fires in the UK.
A survey carried out by the organisation found that a third of people questioned said they used their microwave as an extra kitchen surface, thereby blocking the ventilation holes. Almost one in ten people admitted to leaving their tumble dryer unattended or running during the night.
Almost half of the people surveyed said they didn't clean behind their fridge or freezer, and therefore risked blocking ventilation holes. And 16 per cent admitted to overloading plug sockets.
The safety group believes there is a clear link between the misuse of appliances and what it calls "blunder fires".
Phil Buckle, the council's director general, said: "People think that they are behaving safely but the majority of people we surveyed had put themselves at risk by unknowingly making a safety blunder.
"Today we are issuing a warning to consumers: make sure you're informed about electrical safety to avoid the increasing risk of injury or death by electrical fire."