Get Switched on to Electrical Fire Safety Week

Posted 23/01/2012 14:10:36

Firefighters from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service are urging people to be aware of the dangers of overloaded sockets and overheated appliances.

As Electrical Fire Safety Week (January 23 - 29) gets underway, the Service wants to raise awareness of one of the biggest causes of accidental house fires in the country.

Electrical appliances have become a staple of modern life - from fridges and phones to toasters or the TV; it's hard to think of how we'd get by without a few electrically-powered essentials. And with the recent cold weather, many sockets could still be loaded with heaters and electric blankets.

Gareth Griffiths, Senior Fire Safety Manager, said "Electricity is often overlooked as a fire hazard, perhaps because there is no flame but just because there is no flame, doesn't mean there's no risk - never underestimate the risk of fire from electricity."

Here are Gareth's top electrical safety tips:

● Keep electrical appliances clean and in good working order and have them serviced regularly
● Never buy an electrical appliance without knowing it is safe to use
● New appliances should have the British or European safety mark on them
● Do not leave electrical appliances on standby, unless they are designed to be left switched on (fridges and freezers for example). All other appliances should be turned off at the plug, and ideally unplugged, before going out or going to bed
● Get your electrical system checked by a competent, registered electrician at least once every 10 years
● Always make sure you uses an RCD with electrical garden tools to protect
from an electric shock or even electrocution
● Don't overload sockets - use one plug in each socket.
- Use a 'bar-type' fused adaptor on a lead, rather than a 'block-type' adaptor.
- Don't allow the total amps of all plugs in the adaptor to add up to more than
13 amps (or 3000 watts of power).
- Don't plug adaptors into adaptors - use one adaptor in each socket.

Gareth also advises that you check electrical leads and plugs for wear and tear and faulty wiring and if you notice hot plugs and sockets, fuses that blow for no reason, flickering lights, and scorch marks on sockets or plugs he recommends asking a qualified electrician to check your wiring.

He added: "For the protection of you and your family, make sure you have at least one smoke alarm on each floor of your home and that it is tested regularly."

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service offer free home fire safety checks, where a member of the Service will visit your home, give fire safety hints and tips, help you to formulate a fire escape plan and fit new alarms - all free of charge.

This service is available to all residents in North Wales - to register for a free home fire safety check, please call the 24 hour free hotline on 0800 169 1234, e-mail cfs@nwales-fireservice.org.uk or visit www.nwales-fireservice.org.uk.

Visit us at www.nwales-fireservice.org.uk - 'like' us on Facebook and 'follow' us on Twitter.

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