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Home » News & Events » 2019 » November » Don’t let an electrical failure set your world alight

Don’t let an electrical failure set your world alight

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As part of Electrical Fire Safety Week, Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) is warning people not to let electrical failures set their world alight.

From faulty fridges and irons left unattended to dodgy plugs and wiring, electrical equipment can be an unnoticed fire hazard in the home. And with the recent cold weather, many sockets could still be overloaded with space heaters and electric blankets.

HWFRS wants to make sure people know the risks and take care when using electrics in their home.

The Service attended 4,812 electrical fires between 1 April 2009 and 31 March 2019. The majority of these – 40.44% ­­– started in the kitchen and 96.78% of all of the fires were accidental. A fault in the equipment or the appliance was responsible for 1,266 of all incidents or 26.31%, while 885 incidents, or 18.39%, resulted from cooking.

While HWFRS is working hard to help bring this number down, people can also take steps themselves by checking that the electrical equipment they use every day is in good shape and is operated properly.

Station Commander Amy Bailey from the HWFRS Community Risk Department said: “Electrical equipment is an inescapable part of all our lives, from essentials like heating and lights to luxuries like entertainment systems or beauty products. Half of all accidental fires begin with an electrical appliance, so it’s really important to be sure that your electrics are in good working order and are used properly.

“Most electrical fires start in the kitchen, so be extra careful with cooking equipment. Fire in the home can be devastating, but many of these fires are preventable. By following some simple steps, you can help keep you and your loved ones safe from fire.”

  • Don’t overload plug sockets
  • Regularly check for worn or frayed wires
  • Unplug appliances when not in use
  • Keep appliances clean and in good working order
  • Never leave portable heaters unattended
  • Never leave them on while sleeping
  • Ensure that they are positioned well away from anything which could knock them over
  • Ensure they are at least a metre away from any combustible materials, such as paper or curtains
  • Regularly inspect your heater for damage. If it’s damaged – don’t use it