Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


House fire caused by overloaded socket

The Briars, Harlow
30/03/2021 @ 16:31
Incident Number: 141491
In attendance: 2 x Harlow, 1 x Ongar, 1 x Epping

Crews have issued safety advice after tackling a house fire in Harlow today (Tuesday 30 March).

Firefighters from Harlow, Ongar and Epping attended The Briars at 4.31pm and found a fire in a first floor bedroom.

No one was inside the mid-terrace house when the fire started but thankfully a neighbour saw the smoke and called 999.

Station Manager Richie Green said: "Crews were faced with a well-developed fire and battled really well to contain it to the bedroom.

"We believe the fire was caused by an overloaded plug socket. Plugging too many electrical appliances into one socket can lead to overheating, so please don't take the risk.

"Unfortunately smoke had spread throughout the house so the family will have to be temporarily re-housed.

"It's always worth closing internal doors when you leave your home to stop fire and smoke spreading so quickly in the event of a fire."

Crews fully extinguished the fire by 5.05pm.

Follow our electrical fire safety advice

  • Look out for signs: hot plugs or sockets, scorch marks, fuses that often blow, or flickering light are all signs of loose wiring or other electrical problems
  • Replace badly wired plugs: any wires sticking out could come loose and debris could also get into the plug
  • Don't overload sockets, leads or adaptors: plugging too many electrical appliances into one socket can lead to overheating. Extension leads and adaptors have a limit on how many amps they can take
  • Use sockets safely: it’s better to use a bar adaptor (multi board) on a lead than a block adaptor
  • Only use one adaptor per socket: don’t plug one adaptor into another and try to keep to one plug per socket

For more electrical fire safety advice, click here.

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