THE CHIEF firefighter for Eastbourne believes not enough people are aware of how to make their home electrical equipment safe.
Dave Sheppard, Fire & Rescue Service Borough commander for Eastbourne, wants more people to carry out basic checks on their homes and follow easy steps to prevent potential fires.
As part of the lead up to Electrical Fire Safety Week later this month, the local emergency service has joined forces with the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) to urge people to pay more attention to possible risks at home.
The latest fire statistics show that half of all accidental household fires were caused by faulty or careless use of electrical appliances and recent research carried out by the ESC points towards a dangerous level of ignorance about the perils of electricity in UK households. According to a 2011 UK-wide study almost one million people repaired an appliance while it was still plugged in, 12.2 million people knowingly used faulty plugs or sockets and two million people trailed cables near hot surfaces or cookers.
These electrical accidents are often caused by simple things which people could check themselves and rectify for little or no cost. Among the advice issued by the fire service this week, locals are told not to overload plus sockets, to regularly check for worn or frayed wires and to unplug appliances when not in use and to only buy electrical chargers from a reputable source so they satisfy UK safety regulations
If a fire starts involving an electrical appliance, the message is simple: Get Out, Stay Out, Call 999. People should also be sure never to use water on an electrical fire.
Mr Sheppard said, “Electricity is an integral part of all of our lives – from the essentials like heating and lights to luxuries like entertainment systems and beauty products. Half of all accidental fires start from faulty or misused electrical equipment so it is essential to be sure that your electrics are in good working order and are used properly. All too often, it is the simple things that people could check for themselves that can lead to a serious accident. So we are urging everyone to make basic visual checks around the home to ensure its electrical safety.”
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