Shocking statistics show that half of all accidental house fires were caused by faulty or misused electrical equipment.

From faulty fridges and forgotten irons, to overloaded plugs and dodgy wiring, electrical equipment can be an unnoticed fire hazard in the home. With the recent cold weather, many sockets could now be overloaded with the use of additional heaters and electric blankets.

In 2010-11, accidental fires in the home caused by faulty or misused electrical products resulted in nearly 40 fatalities across the UK.

A Fire Kills campaign from the Electrical Safety Council is highlighting that there is now a smartphone App which will help people defuse the danger in their homes. The Electrical Safety Council’s (ESC) App helps people identify risks in their home and offers advice on resolving them.

Lorraine Carney Senior Campaigns Manager at the ESC said: “With electricity such an integral part of our lives it is understandable that people tend to take it for granted. But that doesn’t mean we can forget basic safety precautions. There is a worrying gap between the public’s perception of electrical danger and the reality, with people making simple yet potentially fatal errors that can be easily prevented.

“The ESC’s free ‘Home Electrical Safety Check’ App was designed to bridge that gap. We wanted to create something which people would find simple to use and hope that they will download it, check their homes and take corrective action”. You can download the App here.

Every individual can take simple steps to help themselves by checking that the electrical equipment they use every day is in good shape and is operated properly:

  • 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
  • Keep heaters should be kept clear from curtains and furniture

Consider using a Residual Current Device (RCD) which works like a circuit breaker to protect against electric shocks and reduces the risk of electrical fires.

The Electrical Safety Council advises that and should never be used for drying clothes. Your electric blanket should be unplugged before you go to bed, unless it has a thermostat for safe all-night use.

A fire risk assessment will assist in ensuring that these dangers, when present in common areas, are identified and addressed.

For more information about completing a fire risk assessment, contact Cardinus on 0207 469 0200 or email [email protected].

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