24 September 2012

It's Electrical Safety Week (24th to 28th September) and so Northamptonshire County Council’s fire and rescue service is warning people not to let electrical failures cause a fire.

The campaign supports the work of the national Fire Kills initiative and the Electrical Safety Council because shocking national statistics show that almost half of all accidental house fires in 2011/12 were caused by faulty or misused electrical equipment.

Prevention Team Manager Warren Ellison said: “A range of electrical items are in use every day and can easily become hazards if not looked after properly. From faulty fridges and driers, to old plugs and wiring. With the forecast of cold weather, there is also the danger that sockets could be overloaded with extra appliances like portable heaters and electric blankets.

"Last year, faulty or misused electrical products caused 197 accidental house fires in Northamptonshire. This equates to 48% of all the house fires in the county.

We can all help to make our homes safer and reduce the number of these incidents, if we all check the electrical equipment we use everyday and ensure it is in good shape and is used properly”

What can you do to make your home safer?

You can help keep you and your loved ones safe from fire by following these simple steps:

  • Don’t overload plug sockets, 1 plug to 1 socket is ideal
  • If you have to use an adaptor ensure you do not exceed the amp limit
  • Ensure the correct rated fuse is used in both plugs and electrical consumer units.
  • Regularly check for loose, worn or frayed wires and replace appliances that show these signs
  • Unplug appliances when they are not in use, this will reduce your energy bills too
  • Keep appliances clean, ensuring filters on items such as tumble dryers and vacuum cleaners are unblocked
  • Appliances should be in good working order, an intermittent fault means something needs replacing
  • Unplug your electric blanket before you go to bed, unless it has a thermostat for safe all-night use
  • Consider using an RCD – Residual Current Device - which works like a circuit breaker to protect against electric shocks and reduces the risk of electrical fires
  • If unsure on electrical safety consultant a qualified electrician

Find further electrical safety advice a safety advice and information at: www.esc.org.uk/visualchecks