Defuse the danger during Electrical Fire Safety Week

Published

Shocking statistics show that half of all accidental house fires in the past year were caused by faulty or misused electrical equipment.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service and The Fire Kills campaign have joined forces with the Electrical Safety Council to ensure people understand how keep themselves safe when using electrical equipment in their home as part of Electrical Fire Safety Week. 

From faulty fridges and abandoned irons to dodgy plugs and wiring, electrical equipment can be an unnoticed fire hazard in the home. With recent cold weather, many sockets could be overloaded with space heaters and electric blankets. 

During 2011, faulty or misused electrical products caused 244 fires in Suffolk. In 2010, accidental electrical fires in the home resulted in nearly 40 deaths across the UK and fire services across the country are working hard to bring this number down. But everyone should take steps to help themselves by checking that the electrical equipment they use is in good working order and is used properly. 

Councillor Colin Spence, Suffolk County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Protection said;

“Electrical equipment is part of our every day life, from essentials like heating and lighting to luxuries such as entertainment systems or beauty products. Half of all accidental fires begin with an electrical appliance, so it’s really important to be sure that your electrical items are in good working order and are used properly. 

“Most electrical fires start in the kitchen, so be extra careful with cooking equipment. Fire in the home can be devastating, but many of these fires are preventable. By following some simple steps, you can help keep you and your loved ones safe from fire.” 

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service are urging people to: 

 

  • Regularly check for worn or frayed wires
  • Not to overload plug sockets
  • Unplug appliances when not in use
  • Keep appliances clean and in good working order
  • Consider using an RCD – Residual Current Device - which works like a circuit breaker to protect against electric shocks and reduces the risk of electrical fires.

The Electrical Safety Council advises that heaters should be kept clear from curtains and furniture and should never be used for drying clothes, while an electric blanket should be unplugged before going to bed. 

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service provide free home fire safety checks and, where necessary, free smoke alarms. For more information on fire safety please visit www.direct.gov.uk/firekills