Electrical Fire Safety Week

Avon Fire & Rescue Service is urging people to take notice of overloaded sockets and overheated appliances during the first Electrical Fire Safety Week.

Electrical fire safetyThe national awareness campaign takes place from Monday 24 January until Sunday 30 January. It is being run by Fire Kills and the Electrical Safety Council in a bid to tackle one of the biggest causes of house fires in the country. Government statistics show that in 2007 more than 60 per cent of all accidental house fires involved an item of electrical equipment.

The main culprits for fires involving electrical equipment are faulty or badly maintained appliances.

Stuart Matthews, AF&RS Community Safety Manager, said: “Most electrical fires are avoidable if you take a few precautions. Often there are tell-tale clues that you may have a problem, so don’t ignore them.

“It’s tempting to take a chance, but it really is not worth the risk. On a regular basis our crews deal with severe fires caused by faulty appliances. If you have concerns, stop using the appliance, turn off the power and call a qualified electrician.

“The best advice to keep yourself safe is to unplug all but essential appliances, like fridges or freezers, when you’re not using them. But even if you take all the right precautions there is a small chance an accident could happen.

“To protect you and your family we recommend you have a working smoke alarm that you test regularly. Smoke alarms are life saving devices that will give you an early warning of a fire, providing you and your family vital time to escape.

Avon Fire & Rescue Service’s electrical fire safety tips are:

  • Don’t overload plug sockets
  • Regularly check for worn or frayed wires
  • Unplug appliances when not in use
  • Keep appliances clean and in good working order
  • Consider using a Residual Current Device, which protects against electric shocks and reduces the risk of electrical fires.

You can find more information on the electrical safety pages of this website. You can also find information at the Electrical Safety Council’s website www.esc.org.uk