Faulty electrics (appliances, wiring and overloaded sockets) cause around 6,000 fires in the home across the country every year. For some handy tips, watch the following short video (courtesy of Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service):
How to avoid electrical fires
- Make sure an electrical appliance has a British or European safety mark when you buy it.
- Certain appliances (washing machines, etc.) should have a plug socket to themselves, as they are high powered.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and look for the CE mark that indicates chargers comply with European safety standards, ensure your furniture has the fire-resistant permanent label.
- Check and replace any old cables and leads, especially if they are hidden from view.
- Unplug appliances when they’re not in use.
- Secure portable heaters and never use them for drying clothes.
- Store electric blankets flat, rolled up or loosely folded to prevent damaging the internal wiring and unplug blankets before you get into bed, unless they have a thermostat control for safe all-night use.
- Never buy second-hand blankets.
- Read the electric blanket safety leaflet (PDF 1,054KB) for more information.
An extension lead or adaptor will have a limit to how many amps it can take, so be careful not to overload them to reduce the risk of a fire, try and keep to one plug per socket. Appliances use different amounts of power – a television may use a 3 Amp plug and a vacuum cleaner a 5 Amp plug for example.
To check if your plug sockets are overloaded use the handy socket calculator.