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By Tarvin Webteam - 10th November 2014 6:00am
One of the biggest causes of accidental house fires is faulty or careless use of electrical appliances.
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is supporting a national campaign for Electrical Fire Safety Week (10-16 November) to highlight the dangers and raise awareness.
Firefighters will be emphasising the importance of using electrical items safely as they go about their work, in a bid to help raise awareness with residents. They will also be pointing out such dangers as overloaded sockets and damaged and frayed leads as part of the week.
Keith Brookes, Head of Fire Prevention at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service said:
"Firefighters have attended a number of house fires recently involving electrical goods, which could all have been prevented.
"Using phone and e-cigarette chargers correctly and making sure that they are only charged with the chargers they were purchased with will decrease the risk of a fire in your home. Also don't leave these gadgets charging for long periods.
"If you are using laptops, don't put them on soft furnishings, beds and duvets as this increases the chance of them overheating and catching fire."
Here's some electrical safety advice to help keep you safe in your home:
- Don't overload plug sockets. An extension lead or adaptor will have a limit to how many amps it can take so, to help reduce the risk of fire, be careful not to overload them. Try to keep to one plug per socket.
- Regularly check for frayed or worn cables and wires. Check to see if the cable is fastened securely to the plug and check the socket for scorch marks. You should always carry out these checks before you plug an appliance in.
- Unplug appliances when not in use. This helps to reduce the risk of fire. Unplug appliances when you go to bed or when you go out unless they are designed to be left on, like freezers.
- Keep electrical appliances clean and in good working order. Look out for fuses that blow, circuit-breakers that trip for no obvious reason and flickering lights to prevent them triggering a fire.
- Check for British or European safety mark. Make sure an appliance has a British or European safety mark when you buy it.
- Always check that you use the right fuse to prevent overloading. When you're fitting or replacing a fuse, it's important to use the right fuse for the appliance to make sure the cable doesn't overheat and that the appliance is protected in the event of a fault.
Get Out, Stay Out, Call 999. Never use water on an electrical fire and don't take any risks with your safety. Pull the plug out or switch the power off if it is safe to do so. Get out, stay out and call 999.