Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Stay Electrical Fire Safe

With many homes in the County having acquired a host of new electrical equipment over Christmas Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is asking everyone to make sure that they make a New Years resolution to stay electrical fire safe.

Electrics account for around four house fires a week in Essex and many of these are preventable if people exercise a few simple precautions.

It is particularly important not to overload plug sockets, turn appliances and chargers off at the wall when you go to bed and to carry out a quick visual check on appliances to make sure they look safe.

Follow our advice to stay electrical fire safe:

- Don’t overload plug sockets. No more than 13 amps to a socket which equates to just one kettle. Learn more at the Electrical safety Council’s website at:

- Unplug appliances when not in use, particularly when you go to bed. Don’t leave mobile phones, tablets or laptops charging overnight. Unplug 
chargers when they are not in use.

- 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. 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 

- 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. Have your blanket checked by an expert once every three years or as recommended by the manufacturer

Divisional Officer Neil Fenwick said: “Electrical issues are a major cause of fires in the home in Essex.

“But many of these fires are preventable as long as people take the time to ensure that their electrical appliances are safe and that they never overload plug sockets.

“All too often it is the simple things that people could check for themselves that can lead to a serious accident. So we are urging everyone to make basic visual checks around the home to ensure its electrical safety.

“Look for old and worn flexes and damaged cases and ensure that all appliances are clean and well cared for.

“It is also vital not to overload plug sockets. Ensure that no more than 13 amps worth of appliances are in any one plug socket.

“The best advice I can give is make sure that you fit, and regularly test, a smoke alarm. It is the single most important piece of safety equipment in any home. A smoke alarm provides vital warning that a fire has broken out waking sleeping people up and giving everyone time to get safely out.”

This socket calculator from Electrical Safety First will help you make sure that you don't overload your plug sockets:


The Socket Calculator has been brought to you by Electrical Safety First.

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