Safety warning following electrical fires across North Wales

Posted 21/04/2015 14:10:36

Fire Officers are warning residents and business owners of the dangers of electrical fires following a number of fires across North Wales over the weekend.

Crews across the region have been busy during the weekend (17th-20th April) tackling fires which are all believed to have been started due to an electrical fault.

Three fires were at commercial properties, and involved either electrical cables arching or a fault in the cabling.

Stuart Millington, Senior Fire Safety Manager, said: "An arc-fault occurs when loose or corroded connections make intermittent contact and causes sparking or arcing between the connections.

"This translates into heat, which will break down the insulation of the wire and can be the trigger for an electrical fire, unlike a short circuit, that is a hot wire coming into contact with a ground or neutral wire, arcing may not trip the circuit breaker.

"Luckily there were no casualties, and due to the efforts of our fire crews the commercial properties had minimal damage."

During the weekend fire crews also attended five residential fires which are all believed to have been started due to an electrical fault.  

Stuart said: "Fires in the home can be devastating, and sadly two of the five fires had caused substantial damage to the homes. Luckily there were no human casualties but one family did lose their pet dog due to the smoke and fire damage.

"Sadly these fires could have been preventable and it's really important that everyone makes sure their electrics are in good working order and are used properly. Here are some safety tips:

-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.

"Taking the above precautions should reduce the risk of an electrical fire - but residents should also ensure they have a working smoke alarm installed to give an early warning of a fire.

"We attend around 470 accidental fires in dwellings each year and electricity or electrical items are responsible for over 300 of these fires.

"Last October a fire in Llanrwst which claimed the lives of two men aged 19 and 39 was most likely to have started in a tumble dryer. The matter remains subject to a Coroner's inquest.

"Why not give our 'ampage' calculator on our website and facebook page a go -www.nwales-fireservice.org.uk or www.facebook.com/Northwalesfireservice.- it tells you if you are overloading your sockets and helps you to stay electrically safe."

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service offers 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 or visit www.nwales-fireservice.org.uk .

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