Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Take charge of your fire safety

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to take charge of their fire safety by making sure they re-charge their electronic devices safely.

With more and more devices which need to be plugged in and charged it is vital that people make sure that they are charger safety aware. Take charge of your fire safety by following our advice.

- Never leave your electrical devices charging overnight. Charge phones, tablets, laptops and e-cigarettes while you are in the room and turn them off when you leave the room.

-Make sure that e-cigarettes are bought from a reputable source and are used and charged in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations.

- Keep electrical items away from flammable materials when charging.

- Don't overload sockets-  power strip extension leads are safest, but can only take a total of 13 amps.

Above all don’t use cheap fake chargers. They are a false economy and have been the cause of a number of fires. Carry out the three point safety check:

1. Plug pins - Check that there is at least 9.5 mm between the edge of the pins and the edge of the charger, any less and you could get a nasty shock.

2. Markings - Look for a manufacturer’s brand name or logo, model and batch number; check for a CE mark; and check that the output voltage and current ratings marked on the charger and your electrical device are the same.

3. Warnings and instructions - Adequate warnings and instructions must be provided. As a minimum, user instructions should provide information on conditions and limitations of use, how to operate the charger safely, basic electrical safety guidance and details of how to safely dispose of the charger when it is no longer required.

Divisional Officer Neil Fenwick, said: “With so many devices needing to be charged these days it is vital that everyone makes sure they take care when they plug in. Never leave devices charging overnight and under no circumstances over load plug sockets.

“Our best advice is to make sure you have properly fitted and working smoke alarms. Smoke alarms are without doubt the most important piece of equipment in any home, they sound at the first sign of fire giving everyone a chance to get out and call the fire service.

“They are proven life savers but it is vital to make sure that they are in full working order, a non-functioning smoke detector will not provide any warning at all.”

To arrange a free home fire safety visit call us on 0300 303 0088.

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