Electrical fire safety advice

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:

Safety advice

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 First

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 First website (opens in new window)

Carry out your own home safety check

Complete our online home safety check and you will get a personalised fire safety plan, which will offer advice on how to prevent fires in your home.

Do the online home safety check

Book a home safety check

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service will fit free smoke alarms for people who are aged over 65 and for people who are referred to us by partner agencies because they are considered to be at a particular risk.

If you are over 65 years of age and you live in Cheshire, you can arrange for a Firefighter or a Community Safety Advocate to visit your home for a free home safety visit. During the home safety visit advice will be given on how to make your home safer, what to do in the event of a fire and what to do if you are trapped by a fire. Free smoke alarms will also be fitted (if needed) with an explanation on how to maintain them correctly.

Book a home safety visit for over 65’s

Last updated: Wednesday 29 November 2017

Related images

Plug on fire