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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Electrical Fire Safety Week

20/01/2011

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is reminding the people of Staffordshire to be vigilant about the safe use of electrical items as ‘Electrical Fire Safety’ week kicks off from January 24th.

"A fire in the home can be devastating, but many fires are actually preventable and everyone can take steps to help prevent such fires from occurring."

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Risk Reduction Manager, David Steele

Electrical Fire Safety week is a nationwide campaign and aims to raise awareness of one of the biggest causes of accidental house fires in the country.

Electrical appliances have become a staple of modern life – from fridges and phones to toasters or the TV, it’s hard to think of how we’d get by without a few electrically-powered essentials and with the recent cold weather, many sockets could still be loaded with heaters and electric blankets. 

In 2007, over 60% of all accidental house fires were caused by electrical equipment so the Fire Kills campaign Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has joined forces with the Electrical Safety Council to spread the fire safety message and ensure people are taking care with their appliances.

Last year, faulty or misused electrical products caused 151 fires in Staffordshire with 57 of those fires being due to negligent use of equipment. In 2007, accidental electrical fires in the home resulted in 40 deaths across the country and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service are working hard to bring this number down.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Risk Reduction Manager, David Steele said: "A fire in the home can be devastating, but many fires are actually preventable and everyone can take steps to help prevent such fires from occurring by checking that the electrical equipment they use everyday is in good condition and is operated properly.

"The majority of electrical fires start in the kitchen, so be extra careful when using cooking appliances.  People must ensure their tumble dryer filters are free from fluff and are not left on overnight or when people are leaving the property.

"We also advise that heaters should be kept clear from curtains, furniture and other combustible materials and should never be used for drying clothes. Convector heaters and electric blankets should also be unplugged before you go to bed."

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
• Consider using a Residual Current Device (a device which protects against electric shocks and reduces the risk of electrical fires)

For more information on the Electrical Safety Council, please visit www.esc.org.uk.  The website also holds information on their ‘Plug Into Safety’ campaign.