Electrical safety warning
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to be electrical fire safe following a charity’s awareness campaign.
The Service’s warning comes after Electric Safety First found that three in four children in the UK have a potential electrical fire hazard in their room – with an average of 10 electrical items in their bedroom.
The charity found 53% of children admitted they had left their phone, laptop or tablet charging on their bed, 38% left their phones charging under their pillow overnight and 27% bought or used a cheap unbranded charger.
ECFRS was called to 51 incidents between June 2015 until June 2016 where fires were caused directly by electrical overloading and worn out cables.
Neil Fenwick, Head of Community Safety, said: “Electrical devices are a major cause of fires in homes across the County and many of them are preventable.
“We are urging people to take the time to ensure that their electrical appliances are safe and that they never overload plug sockets. Make basic checks around the home to ensure its electrically safety.
“Always make sure that you fit, and regularly test, your smoke alarm. Smoke alarms provide a vital warning that a fire has broken out, giving you and your family the time to get safely out.”
ECFRS has the following advice to stay electrical fire safe:
- Remember, don’t overload plug sockets. No more than 13 amps to a socket which equates to just one kettle.
- Unplug appliances when not in use, particularly when you go to bed. Don’t leave mobile phones, tablets or laptops charging overnight. Remove chargers when they are not in use.
- Don’t charge phones, tablets or any electrical device on your bed, under a pillow or anywhere the device might overheat.
- Regularly check for worn or frayed wires. If the wire has started fraying it could be time to replace that appliance.
- Keep appliances clean and in good working order. It is especially important in the kitchen.
- Consider using an RCD – Residual Current Device - which works like a circuit breaker to protect against electric shocks and reduces the risk of electrical fires.
- Make sure electric blankets are safe. All electric blankets should carry the British Standard Kitemark and the British Electrotechnical Approvals Board (BEAB) symbol on them.
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service wants 100% of homes in Essex to have a working smoke alarm.
To get your free smoke alarm and home fire safety visit, call us on 0300 303 0088, or click here.
For more information on how to keep you and your family safe in the home, click here.