Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Take charge while charging

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is urging residents to take charge while charging electrical devices to prevent fires.

If you’re looking for a Black Friday bargain or some Christmas gifts, the Service is giving its electrical fire safety advice to help prevent electrical fires involving batteries and chargers. 

As well as urging residents to use batteries and chargers safely, the Service is also urging shoppers to keep an eye out for fake chargers and batteries that pose a significant fire risk.

In 2020, there were 46 fires caused by batteries and chargers in Essex. 

Watch Manager Andre Turner is a Fire Investigation Officer in Essex County Fire and Rescue Service and has been called to several battery and charger related incidents this year. 

He said: “Before you use a battery or charger, double check the battery and charger are both suitable for use with the device you’re using. Some chargers and batteries might be significantly cheaper to buy but they pose a significantly higher fire risk if they’re not suitable for the intended use.

“Then before use, make sure all cables, plugs and batteries are in good working order. Do not use them if there are any signs of frayed wires, scorched plugs or a defective battery.”

The Service has seen a rise in fires involving Lithium-Ion batteries this year and last month, was called a fire in Marks Tey where a battery on charge exploded while the occupant was keeping an eye on it. 

“Incidents like this show how important it is to do your research while shopping for electrical goods,” says Andre.

“Please do your research on the item beforehand to make sure these are genuine goods with the CE Mark and that they are not copies. Some products and their listings can look really genuine but the listing, product and its packaging should all be marked with the CE Mark that shows it meets safety regulations.”

“The residents in the Marks Tey incident had followed our safety advice to keep an eye on the battery while it charged but had fallen foul of a counterfeit product they believed was genuine. 

“When charging any electrical devices or products with larger batteries like laptops, power tools or remote control cars, always stay with the battery and charger. Never leave it charging unattended.

“Larger batteries used in devices and power tools can quickly overheat if they are overcharged and are regular causes of fires in Essex.

“Keep batteries and chargers on a flat surface like a worktop or table and never charge near flammable materials like bedding and blankets.”

Read more electrical fire safety advice from Essex County Fire and Rescue Service at:

Page last updated 19 November, 2021

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