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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Staffordshire supports national fire safety campaign

20/09/2013

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to follow some top tips as part of a national safety campaign.

"We all use electrical items in our every-day lives which is why it is essential that we keep them well maintained at all times. Simple things like never leaving a washing machine on overnight and regularly cleaning the filter on your tumble dryer could literally save your and your family’s lives."

Head of Risk Reduction Glynn Luznyj

Electrical Fire Safety Week, which starts on Monday, September 23, aims to highlight the possible consequences of not maintaining electrical appliances and of overloading sockets.

Approximately 7,000 house fires are caused every year across England due to faulty electrics.

In Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent the number of fires caused by electrical faults in white goods including dishwashers, tumble dryers and freezers, has been falling year-on-year. However, the Service is committed to further driving down the numbers.

In the west of the county, there were 21 incidents caused by electrical fires in 2011, 15 in 2012 and so far, there have been nine this year. Five of these took place in the Stafford area within the space of just five days this month.

In the east of the county, there were 15 incidents caused by electrical fires in 2011, 13 in 2012 and so far, there have been nine this year.

In the north of the county, there were 25 incidents caused by electrical fires in 2011, 31 in 2012 and so far, there have been 14 this year.

Across the whole of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent the number of fires caused by electrical items was 61 in 2011, 59 in 2012 and so far this year there have been 32.

The Service is encouraging people to follow some simple safety advice to avoid becoming a victim of an electrical fire:

•    Make sure that electrical appliances have a British or European safety mark when you buy them

•    Don’t overload your sockets – keep one appliance to one plug where possible

•    Unplugging appliances when you are going to bed or not using them helps to reduce the risk of fire

•    High powered appliances such as washing machines should have a single plug socket

•    Check that your electrical items are not subject to a product recall. Information is available at www.recalluk.com

Head of Risk Reduction Glynn Luznyj said: "We all use electrical items in our every-day lives which is why it is essential that we keep them well maintained at all times. Simple things like never leaving a washing machine on overnight and regularly cleaning the filter on your tumble dryer could literally save your and your family’s lives.

"The number of fires that are caused by overloading sockets or by poorly maintained electrical equipment is going down in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent but we are committed to highlighting the potential risks and encouraging residents to take action to avoid these dangers."

More information and advice is available by logging onto the Electrical Safety Council’s website at: http://www.esc.org.uk/