In support of Electrical Fire Safety Week (November 10-16) Humberside Fire and Rescue Service is urging residents to make basic electrical checks in their home to ensure the safety of their household.
Around 70 people die and 350,000 are seriously injured in the UK each year each year due to electrical related incidents. These incidents could easily be avoided by making simple checks, for little or no cost, to identify and rectify possible dangers.
The Electrical Safety First have developed a handy App to help people stay safer from electrical fires.
Emma Apter from Electrical Safety First, said: “Our free App helps anyone to do a quick visual check on their home by highlighting the potential dangers in each room and explaining how to resolve basic problems in simple, non-technical language. It will also flag more serious issues, for which you should use a registered electrician.
It is available for iPhone and Android phones – just go to the App Store or Android Market, search for ‘Home Electrical Safety Check’ and follow the instructions to download”
Allen Cunningham Community Safety Manager at Humberside Fire and Rescue, said: “In the last twelve months, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service has attended 302 electrical related fires. Turning off and unplugging appliances when they are not in use is one way to reduce the risk of fire in the home, especially before going to bed. It’s important to check appliances are in good working order, if anyone is doubt about how safe their appliances are, I would recommend getting them checked by an appropriately qualified person.
The most common cause of electrical fires in the Humberside area involve electric ovens. Incidents range from cooking being left unattended to tea towels left too close to the hob and igniting.
However there has been an increase nationally in fires caused by fake or faulty mobile phone and e cigarette chargers.
“Mixing and matching different voltages, even with low voltage devices can be dangerous, I cannot stress enough the dangers mixing up electrical chargers pose, it’s simply not worth the risk. Make sure that when charging your phone or other device that you are doing it with something that is compatible – ideally with the one it came with. Be very wary of buying devices that might seem the cheapest at the time, but might not be compatible and could cause a fire only use electrical charging devices with the products for which they were intended,” Allen added.
By following a few simple steps, you can help keep yourself and your loved ones safe from fire:
Don’t overload sockets
An extension lead or adaptor will have a limit to how many amps it can take so, to help reduce the risk of fire, be careful not to overload them. Keep to one plug per socket.
Regularly check for worn or frayed wires
Check to see if the cable is fastened securely to the plug and check the socket for scorch marks. You should always carry out these checks before you use an appliance.
Unplug appliances when not in use, including mobile phones.
This helps to reduce the risk of fire. Switch off appliances when you go to bed or when you go out unless they are designed to be left on, like freezers.
“If you have a circuit board that keeps tripping or a light that keeps flickering, there could be a problem with the electrics. Get it checked out and contact a qualified electrician for advice, by doing this you could prevent an electrical fire from happening.” Allen added.
For more information about the Electrical Safety Council, visit www.esc.org.uk.
For fire safety advice, visit www.humbersidefire.gov.uk