Fire chief’s warning over the dangers of electrical blazes

Dave Sheppard
Dave Sheppard

Next month is Electrical Fire Safety Week and Eastbourne Fire & Rescue Service Borough Commander Dave Sheppard has issued a key safety message to reduce the chances of fire occurring in homes and businesses.

Latest fire statistics demonstrate that half of all accidental dwelling fires were caused by faulty or careless use of electrical appliances.

With Electrical Fire Safety Week falling in September, Dave Sheppard said, “People expose themselves and their families to potentially fatal accidents in the home through simple electrical blunders because of an alarming lack of knowledge about the real danger of electricity.

People should carry out a visual check in their homes to reduce the risk of electrical fires. It is often the simple things that lead to a serious fire – such as an appliance lead near a hot surface or an overloaded socket.

“People should also keep combustible materials away from sources of heat and householders should not store combustible materials close to their electrical intake equipment (service head meter and/or consumer unit) in their homes. The warning is particularly appropriate where, for example, the electrical intake equipment is in a cupboard which is used to store items such as coats, cleaning materials and other things that ignite easily.

“People should buy their electrical chargers from a reputable source as many imported chargers do not satisfy UK safety regulations and can cause serious electric shock, injury or fire. Using foreign appliances in UK sockets can be dangerous if they have not been converted for UK use. Without a suitable conversion plug, the plug and socket can overheat and the lack of fuse protection increases the risk of a fire.

“It’s important not to overload plug sockets and 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 and try to keep to one plug per socket.”