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Cats are starting house fires by turning on touch-sensitive electric cookers when their owners are away, safety chiefs in South Korea have warned. 

The cookers then catch fire if they become overheated or set light to nearby cloths or paper. 

New figures show a house fire is caused by a cat once every ten days in South Korea, with 107 between January 2019 and November 2021. 

Four people were injured – and some pets died. 

Over 100 fires in South Korea are reported to have been caused by cats inadvertently brushing up against touch-sensitive cookers

Over 100 fires in South Korea are reported to have been caused by cats inadvertently brushing up against touch-sensitive cookers

Over 100 fires in South Korea are reported to have been caused by cats inadvertently brushing up against touch-sensitive cookers

A fire service spokesman said blazes can ‘spread widely when no one is at home’. 

Although some hobs are only activated when a certain type of saucepan is on top, others have electric coils which heat up regardless. 

It is thought cats have also sparked blazes by interfering with other electrical appliances. 

Safety experts have suggested using a stove with an automatic lock function to prevent future fires – or just unplugging appliances at the wall. 

Last year, a cat and a dog started house fires in Kent in less than a week. 

A border collie in Sittingbourne jumped up to reach leftovers and turned on three gas rings, while a cat stepped on a stove ignition button near Maidstone setting fire to a tea towel.

Source: Daily Mail UK

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