The week beginning November 18th is Electrical Fire Safety Week. With Fire Rescue Services across country gearing up to raise awareness of electrical fires, there’s no better time to check you know how to keep your home safe.
We all use electricity in our day to day lives. From charging our phones and watching TV to microwaving our lunch and washing our clothes. With so much of our day depending on electricity, it’s easy to take this power source for granted and forget that it can be dangerous.
Every year, around half of all accidental fires in UK homes are started by electricity. Although washing machines, dishwashers and other white goods make our lives easier for the most part, they can wreck homes and even take lives when something goes wrong. That’s why it’s important to use electrical appliances with care and make sure you’re clued up on how to protect your home and the people in it. It’s something you may well take for granted, but with Electrical Fire Safety Week just around the corner, now is a great time to check you know how to stay safe with electricity.
How to reduce the risk of an electrical fire in your home
Although you can’t fully eliminate all fire risks, there are some easy actions you can take to reduce the risk in your home.
Avoid overloading your sockets: Overloaded sockets are one of the most common causes of electrical fires in the home. When using any socket or extension lead, there will be a limit to how many amps it can take. Make sure you take note of this and avoid overloading the socket.
Check your cables: Cables can become a potential fire hazard if they get damaged in some way. Check your cables regularly for signs of overuse and replace cables that show any signs of damage.
Keep things clean: Make sure your electrical appliances are cleaned regularly to keep them dust-free. Keep an eye out for blown fuses and flickering lights as this can be a sign of a fire risk.
Check the safety mark: All electrical appliances in the UK should come with a UK or European safety mark. Every plug you use should have this clearly marked, either as “CE” or “safety mark”.
Unplug your appliances: When you’re not using your appliances, unplugging them can help reduce the risk of a fire in your house. It’s always best to unplug things when going to bed or leaving the house, unless the appliance is designed to be left on permanently (for example, a fridge or freezer).
What to do if there’s an electrical fire in your home
If an electrical fire breaks out in your home, get out of the property immediately and call 999. You should never use water on an electrical fire as this can make things worse. If it’s safe to do so, you can pull the plug out or switch the appliance off.