HWFRS urges people to take care when buying and using portable heaters

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Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) is urging people to consider more than just the price when choosing a portable heater this winter.

The continuing rise in the cost of living may make small, inexpensive space heaters look a practical and efficient way to heat a room. There are numerous products available, which start at just over £10, but saving a few pounds on an unsuitable appliance could prove extremely costly.

The advice from HWFRS is:

  • Ensure any appliance you purchase has a nationally recognised marking such as CE, BS or UKCA – these show the appliance has been produced to high regulatory safety standards
  • Appliances that do not have any certification are legal to buy and are often cheaper but may not conform to basic electrical safety standards and are often less energy efficient than claimed
  • Check items have safety features such as thermostat cut out and overheating warnings
  • Visually check your appliances for the signs of overheating or damaged casings
  • Never cover an electric heater or position near items that could catch fire
  • Saving a few pounds at purchase could cost thousands in fire damage to your home or worse – injury to you or your family
  • Ensure you have working fire detection in your home that you test regularly

Station Commander Sara Hall of the HWFRS Prevention department said:

“The rise in the cost of living will present many challenges for people this winter and more than ever we shouldn’t put ourselves or our loved ones at risk.

“For further fire safety advice please visit hwfire.org.uk/safety-and-advice/
www.hwfire.org.uk, If you think you might qualify for a free Home Fire please call our Prevention team on 0800 032 1155.

“You can also complete a FREE
online Home Fire Safety check by following the
link on our website. This easy-to-follow check will take you through your home a room at a time – the simple questions will help you spot fire risks and make your home safer.

Don’t forget that extra Government grants are available – you can find out more from GOV.UK at Help with your energy bills – Help for Households.”