West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service (WSFRS) has launched a new safety campaign after revealing they attended 496 electrical fires in 2017/18.
The service is urging residents to be more fire safe at home as part of Electrical Fire Safety month.
More than half of these fires started in a cooker, oven, or as a result of faulty wiring or plugs.
With the Christmas period starting to approach, many households will also be using extra lighting and wires to decorate homes and trees.
John Lainsbury, Business Fire Safety Manager said: “It’s important to remember that electrical fires aren’t just confined to kitchens. Every household is using a range of electrical devices and chargers.
“We can all do something to prevent an electrical fire, from unplugging your chargers to having your electrics checked by a qualified electrician.”
Some safety tips in the home include:
• Don’t charge phones or E-cigarettes overnight or for long periods of time unsupervised
• Check leads and cables for fraying and other damage regularly
• Check for hot plugs or sockets & scorch marks
• Check fuses that often blow or flickering lights
• Unplug all appliances and chargers when not using them
• Make sure sockets and adaptors aren’t overloaded, avoid ‘Daisy Chaining’
• Make sure that appliances are fused correctly
• Over half of all house fires start in the kitchen. Keep anything that can catch fire away from the stove top, and never leave the kitchen while cooking.
• Make sure smoke alarms are working properly, test them weekly
Electrical equipment should never be thrown away as it contains hazardous substances. Unwanted appliances should be taken to a local Household Waste Recycling Site.
Debbie Kennard, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities said: “It’s vital that our residents are aware of how easy it can be for a fire to start at home if the right precautions aren’t taken. Please ensure you take care and listen to the advice of our experienced firefighters.”
For more information and tips on how to keep safe from electrical fires or to arrange a free Home Fire Safety visit, contact www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire and select ‘Keeping safe campaigns.’