An iron is an essential tool for keeping your clothing crease-free and sharpening those edges. While all you really need is a standard iron and an ironing board, there is quite a variety of irons now on the market.

When browsing through the endless options of steam irons, cordless irons, steam generator irons and travel irons, it is important to think about how often you use your iron and what you use it for. Some people love to iron everything, from their undies to their tea towels and bedding, while others save their iron for emergency use only – either way, it is necessary to consider your safety during use.

Iron safety

Irons are generally very safe to use as long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and take a few sensible precautions before and during use.

Safety first

  • Make sure you buy your iron from a reputable retailer, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
  • It’s important to register your new iron with the manufacturer so that you can be contacted if a safety notice or recall is issued. It also makes it easier for you to return a faulty product or order a repair. To find out how to register any of your appliances, regardless of age, visit our Product Registration page.
  • Use our free online Product Recall checker to see if your iron or any other electrical items have been recalled.
  • Check that your appliance has a UK plug; if it doesn’t, don’t try to use a UK travel adaptor. Get in touch with the retailer and ask them to fit a UK plug.
  • Do regular checks of the plug and socket for burn marks, sounds of ‘arcing’ (buzzing or crackling) or if it feels too hot to touch. If you have fuses blowing or circuit-breakers tripping then contact a registered electrician to investigate.
  • Any socket you plan to use to plug in an iron should have RCD (residual current device) Protection. An RCD is a life-saving device that protects against dangerous electric shock and reduces the risk of electrical fires. If you don’t have RCD protection in your fuse box for your sockets, consider using an RCD plug to protect you and your property from serious appliance faults.

Using your iron safely

  • Never leave your iron unattended.
  • Unplug when not in use.
  • Don’t wrap the supply cable around the iron while it is cooling down.
  • Ideally, use an iron caddy to place your iron on as it cools down after use. If you don’t have one, make sure that it is not near to flammable materials and out of reach of small children and pets
  • Keep out of reach of small children and pets at all times – do not allow them to pull on the wires or hang on the ironing board.
  • Check cords and plugs for signs of damage on a regular basis. Discontinue use if there are any signs of damage present.
  • If you drop your iron it is important that it is checked for safety before using it again as wires inside the appliance may have become loose. Discontinue use if the case around the appliance becomes broken and wires are exposed.