Electrical fire safety week 2017

Using electrical appliances is an every-day convenience. From our phones to IT equipment, washing machines and microwaves – it’s now hard to imagine life without them.

November 20 – 27 is Electrical fire safety week – raining awareness of the fire dangers when using electrical goods.

Fire and Rescue teams across the UK hope that homes and businesses follow these top tips to reduce the risk of fire in buildings…


Don’t overload plug sockets

An extension lead or adaptor will have a limit to how many amps it can take so, to help reduce the risk of fire, be careful not to overload them. Try to keep to one plug per socket.


Regularly check for frayed or worn cables and wires

Check to see if the cable is fastened securely to the plug and check the socket for scorch marks. You should always carry out these checks before you plug an appliance in.


Unplug appliances when not in use

This helps to reduce the risk of fire. Unplug appliances when you go to bed or when you go out unless they are designed to be left on, like freezers.


Keep electrical appliances clean and in good working order

Look out for fuses that blow, circuit-breakers that trip for no obvious reason and flickering lights to prevent them triggering a fire.


Check for British or European safety mark

Make sure an appliance has a British or European safety mark when you buy it.


Always check that you use the right fuse to prevent overloading

When you’re fitting or replacing a fuse, it’s important to use the right fuse for the appliance to make sure the cable doesn’t overheat and that the appliance is protected in the event of a fault.


Avoid overloading your sockets:

  • Check the current rating of the extension lead before plugging appliances into it
  • Never overload an extension lead by plugging in appliances that together will exceed the maximum current rating stated for the extension lead
  • Only use one socket extension lead per socket and never plug an extension lead into another extension lead
  • Consider installing additional sockets if you regularly use extension leads and adaptors. Find a fully qualified electrician to do the work


Check regularly for the following danger signs:

  • a smell of hot plastic or burning near an appliance or socket
  • sparks or smoke coming from a plug or appliance
  • blackness or scorch marks around a socket or plug, or on an appliance
  • damaged or frayed leads
  • coloured wire inside leads showing at the plug or anywhere else
  • melted plastic on appliance casings or leads
  • fuses that blow or circuit-breakers that operate for no obvious reason


Portable heater safety:

  • Never leave portable heaters unattended
  • Never leave them on whilst sleeping
  • Try to secure heaters up against a wall to stop them falling over
  • Keep heaters clear from curtains and furniture and never use them for drying clothes.
  • Don’t cover air vents on storage heaters or fan heaters
  • 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
  • Never buy second hand halogen heaters
  • Never power a halogen heater from an extension lead – these can easily be overloaded and cause fires
  • Regularly inspect your heater for damage. If it’s damaged – don’t use it

Get Out, Stay Out, Call 999

  • Never use water on an electrical fire and don’t take any risks with your safety. Pull the plug out or switch the power off if it is safe to do so. Get out, stay out and call 999

Contact us for more information.