From smartphones to toasters, microwaves to televisions, almost every aspect of modern life involves electricity. We love our electrical gadgets and gizmos, using them for everything from lighting our homes to communicating with our loved ones.Advertisement
Such prevalence in our lives though does mean it’s easy to get complacent and although electricity has made many aspects of our lives easier, it’s important to remember to remain vigilant to the fire risks electrical items pose.
Between January and February 2020, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) attended 55 accidental house fires caused by electricals, 11 of which did not have a working fire alarm in their home.
This is why LFRS are campaigning over the winter months to highlight the dangers of electrical appliances, covering a range of hazards including faulty appliances, improper use and electric heaters to name a few.
Area Manager Mark Hutton, the Prevention and Protection lead for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service explains more: “Electrical fires can start in any house which is why it’s so important to have working smoke alarms and an escape plan. There are some really simple habits for all the family to get into that reduce the chance of fire.
“At this time of year portable heaters are used extensively, ensure they are kept away from items that can burn and that the vents are not covered up – keep a close eye on pets and children knocking something over near to a heater.
“In modern life, devices are being re-charged daily – always use a compatible charger and make sure the device is on a hard surface charged during the day so you are aware if a fire starts.”
TIP Do you know where your children charge their mobile phones? Some will tuck it under their pillow which is great for hearing the ding of a social media post, but not so great for letting heat escape from the charging battery, something that has led to some serious fires.
Here are some of our top safety tips to follow:
And here are some things to avoid:
The online ‘Socket Overload Calculator’ is available on our website. The calculator is a virtual tool that allows people to ‘plug in’ typical household appliances and check the impact of the load on a standard extension lead.
For more information on fire safety in the home, please visit our website www.lancsfirerescue.org.uk/electrical- safety.