Electricity and electrical appliances are fire risks around 50% of household fires are caused by appliances. Preventing electrical fires isn’t difficult following these steps will keep you and your family safe.
Always buy electrical appliances made by reputable manufacturers and sold by trustworthy retailers. Counterfeit electrical goods such as fake phone chargers are rife online, cheap copies made in the far east are potential fire hazards. To be on the safe side never buy cheap electrical goods from online market places where ‘sellers’ can operate.
Avoid buying second-hand appliances if possible you don’t know how much use the appliance has had and it’s history. When purchasing new white products such as fridges, washing machines and tumble dryers always register your product with the manufacturer. Registering validates warranties and allows manufacturers to get in touch if there’s a dangerous fault with your particular model, and a product recalls in operation. Read the manufacturers instructions and store them in a safe place.
Only use appliances when you’re in the home and when you’re awake in the unlikely event an appliance catches fire you can deal with it quickly before it escalates.
Keep your appliances clean. Usually, the backs of appliances don’t see the light of day, dirt and dust builds up which eventually becomes a fire risk. Now and then pull the appliances out and clean the back.
Ensure sockets and extension leads don’t get overloaded. Running several items off a single extension lead in a single socket’s asking for trouble. Try and keep one appliance to each socket if you can. Check your sockets for heat and burn marks; if they get hot, they need checking by a qualified electrician. Once you have finished using or charging an appliance always switch off the socket. Unplug and put away any appliances you don’t use multiple times per day especially those that generate heat such as irons, hair dryers and hair straighteners. Before you go to bed make sure everything’s switched off at the wall not only will this prevent electrical fires it will help you save electricity as well.
All homes should have a modern consumer unit with RCD fuses which trip in the event of an overload. Old style fuse boxes use fuses where the wire melts the fuses are slower to cut power and can catch fire. Old fuse boxes feature in many older Essex homes and should be upgraded.
Finally make sure you have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your house, it’s also a good idea to have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Most fires, electrical and non-electrical start in the kitchen.