Electrical Fire Safety Week warningPosted 09/11/2015 14:19:47
Today marks the start of Electrical Fire Safety Week (9th-15th November) - with North Wales Fire and Rescue Service warning residents of the potential dangers of electrical fires as one of the biggest causes of accidental house fires in the country.
Stuart Millington, Senior Fire Safety Manager for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, explained: “Last year we attended 262 fires related to electricity or electrical items.
“Electrical fires present a real risk to homeowners, often resulting in significant damage to property and sometimes with the most tragic consequences.
“Last year, 85 of these electrical fires were due to faults - but the majority of electrical fires are caused by misuse of the electrical items.
“It’s important to operate appliances according to the manufacturers’ instructions and to check electrical items and leads for signs of damage or wear – keep an eye out for cracks or scorch marks. So many residents use old or dangerous electrical items and overload their sockets, causing a potentially fatal fire risk.
“Storage of combustible material in cupboards housing electrical meters and fuse boxes is another area that can raise the risk of a devastating house fire. Storing items close to the electrical equipment increases the risk of damage and overheating and then can help rapid fire growth.
“We have noticed an increase in the number of fires involving aftermarket chargers – our advice would be to always buy from a reputable source and ensure chargers are not left running unattended or overnight.
“Smoke alarms are the best way to give an early warning of fire in your home – yet it is still a fact that around 20% of incidents we are called to reveal homes that do not have a working smoke alarm.
“Electrical fires can happen to anyone, anywhere so our advice is to get prepared and stay safe – this week is a good time to make sure you have a working smoke alarm and make a conscious effort to take extra care with electrical items.
“And why not give our ‘ampage’ calculator on our website and Facebook page a go – it tells you if you are overloading your sockets and helps you to stay electrically safe.”
For a free home safety check, where new smoke alarms will be fitted where needed totally free of charge, please call the 24 hour hotline on 0800 169 1234, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.nwales-fireservice.org.uk or text or text 88365, prefixing the message with the word HFSC.