Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is warning of the risks of buying non-genuine chargers following a fire which left a family’s home uninhabitable.
"Non genuine chargers are popular because they are often cheaper than genuine chargers, however what many people don’t realise is the risks."
Station Manager Neil Burton
Stafford and Rising Brook firefighters attended the incident on Tallpines, Wildwood at approximately 10.20pm on Tuesday evening.
On arrival firefighters were met with a bedroom fire, they wore breathing apparatus to tackle the fire using a hose reel jet.
The fire was started after a newly purchased charger, not connected to the tablet it was intended for, was left plugged in. A bang upstairs alerted three adults, who were downstairs at the time, to the fire. One of the adults rescued his eight year old sister from another upstairs bedroom before the family evacuated the property.
Station Manager Neil Burton said: “We believe this fire could have been developing for up to an hour before the family were alerted to it. They didn’t have smoke alarms so they were extremely lucky that they heard the bang alerting them to the fire. Had they been asleep at the time we may have been reporting a very different set of circumstances.
“Non genuine chargers are popular because they are often cheaper than genuine chargers, however what many people don’t realise is the risks. Genuine chargers are fused and rated specifically to the product they are intended for and meet strict safety standards whereas non genuine chargers don’t necessarily.
“We’d urge people to only purchase and use genuine chargers and only plug them in when they are in use. Also there is absolutely no excuse for anyone in Staffordshire to not have working smoke alarms as we offer them for free as part of our free Home Fire Risk Check. We’d urge anyone without working smoke alarms to contact us as soon as possible on 0800 0241 999 so we can arrange a visit.”
The family were unable to return to the property due to the incident, which caused severe fire damage to the bedroom where the charger was and heavy smoke logging to the rest of the first floor.
Crews left the incident at approximately 12.30am on Wednesday.