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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Switch on to fire safety and don't overload at Christmas

01/12/2015

Firefighters are warning about the dangers of overloading plug sockets after a spate of recent fires across the county.

"Overloading plug sockets, adapters or extension leads can lead to overheating and can cause a fire."

Head of Central Risk Reduction Jim Bywater

Households now have more electrical items in the home than at any other point in time and the use of adapters and bar extension leads is common place. It’s tempting to plug several sets of electrical equipment into one socket – particularly over Christmas as decorations and Christmas tree lights go up.

High powered appliances should use a single plug socket and should never be plugged into an adaptor or bar extension lead to avoid overloading the system.  Four way adaptors are designed to accommodate four plugs however a washing machine will use a different amount of electricity to a desktop lamp.

Head of Central Risk Reduction Jim Bywater said: “Overloading plug sockets, adapters or extension leads can lead to overheating and can cause a fire.

“It’s never a good idea to leave appliances on overnight – unless they are designed to be left on like a fridge or freezer.

“It’s easy to forget the hazard electricity can pose simply because we can’t see it but sockets can quickly overheat and cause a fire. Danger signs include hot plugs or sockets, scorch marks, lights that flicker and fuses that often blow.”

Visit www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk to find out whether you are overloading your sockets with our easy to use ‘socket calculator’. Plug in a variety of virtual appliances to see how much power they use.

To book a free Home Fire Risk Check contact: 0800 0241 999.  For all other non- emergency enquiries contact: 08451 22 11 55 or log onto: www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk or www.direct.gov.uk/firekills. In an emergency dial 999.
ENDS