Electrical Fire Safety Week (10th - 16th November) is a nationwide campaign and aims to raise awareness of one of the biggest causes of accidental house fires in the country.
Electrical appliances have become a staple of modern life - from fridges and phones to toasters or the TV, it's hard to think of how we would get by without a few electrically-powered essentials.
Electrical fire safety video
Socket overload calculator
The Electrical Safety Council has an excellent online tool that can help you assess whether or not you are overloading an adaptor:
We would like to offer you 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.
Portable heater safety
Never leave portable heaters unattended
Never leave them on whilst sleeping
Try to secure heaters up against a wall to stop them falling over.
Keep heaters clear from curtains and furniture and never use them for drying clothes.
Don't cover air vents on storage heaters or fan heaters
Ensure that they are positioned well away from anything which could knock them over
Ensure they are at least a metre away from any combustible materials, such as paper or curtains
Never buy second hand halogen heaters
Never power a halogen heater from an extension lead - these can easily be overloaded and cause fires
Regularly inspect your heater for damage. If it’s damaged - don’t use it
More information on Portable heater safety
Electric blanket safety
Unplug blankets before you get into bed, unless it has a thermostat control for safe all-night use.
When not in use, store blankets flat, rolled-up or loosely folded.
Don't use a hot water bottle at the same time as using your electric blanket.
More information on Electric blanket safety
Electrical Safety Council
The Electrical Safety Council (ESC) is an independent charity committed to reducing deaths and injuries caused by electrical accidents at home and also in the workplace.
Electrical Safety Council website (opens in new window)