07 December 2010

Northamptonshire County Council’s fire and rescue service is distributing power-saving devices which will help to make the county’s homes safer and protect the environment at the same time.

The TV PowerDown units automatically switch off electrical items that have been plugged into the unit, such as DVD players and games consoles, when the TV is turned off. Electrical items are therefore not left switched on or on standby for long periods of time when they aren’t in use.

The units have been supplied as part of a partnership between the fire and rescue service and energy company E.ON UK.

Councillor Andre Gonzalez de Savage, county council cabinet member for customers and communities said: “The fire and rescue service will be distributing these PowerDowns to Northamptonshire residents as part of an ongoing commitment to protect the community and the environment.

“They are really clever devices, allowing you to switch off your TV and attached appliances using your one TV remote, therefore saving electricity, money and the environment, and most importantly, reducing the likelihood of an electrical fire too.”

From April 2009 to March 2010 there were over 450 fires in Northamptonshire homes where the main cause was electricity. Over half of the incidents were caused by cooking appliances and over 12 per cent were due to faulty wires, cables or plugs.

To avoid an electrical fire happening in your home, Northamptonshire fire and rescue service recommends:

  • Avoid leaving items on overnight unless they are designed to be left on such as freezers
  • Ensure electrical items are serviced or checked regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Not to overload sockets or extension leads
  • Never run an electric cable or lead under a carpet or a rug
  • Never use an appliance which has old or poorly wired plugs or cables, replace it making sure you dispose of the old one safely
  • Never put water on an electrical fire. If you can, switch off the power at the fuse box, but don’t take any risks with you or your family’s safety. If there is a fire, get out, stay out and call 999.

Darren Dovey, fire and rescue area manager for service delivery said “We are pleased that by distributing these units we can help to further protect the people who live in the county from the risk of electrical fires.

“As well as helping keep our community safe, Northamptonshire fire and rescue service is constantly looking for ways to help combat climate change. These power saving units will contribute to achieving this, as well as helping Northamptonshire residents save money on their energy bills.”

The TV PowerDown units have been supplied as part of a partnership between the Service and E.ON UK.

Northamptonshire residents can obtain a free TV PowerDown unit by visiting the county’s libraries.

For further information on home fire safety please contact Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service on 01604 797000 or visit www.direct.gov.uk/firekills