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Electrical Fire Safety Week

Electrical Fire Safety Week is a joint initiative between Fire Kills and Fire Authorities around the country. A week of heightened publicity about the dangers of electrical fire will take place next week over January 23rd – 29th 2012.

In colder weather you might have more electrical items like space heaters and electric blankets in use so it’s especially important to be aware of the dangers of electrical fire at this time of year.

In 2010/2011 half of the accidental house fires in the UK were caused by faulty or misused electrical equipment and 40 deaths were caused by electrical fires in the same period.

Electrical fires have many causes, including faulty electrical items, poorly wired plugs and old wiring.

You can be more aware of the dangers of electrical fires by looking for tell-tale signs that the appliance in question could be faulty. Signs that an electrical appliance could be faulty include overheating, an unusual smell, sparks and intermittent working order. You may even see scorch marks on plugs and sockets.

You can also help to prevent electrical fires by taking some simple fire safety precautions:

  • don’t overload plug sockets
  • regularly check for worn or frayed wires
  • unplug appliances when they’re not in use
  • keep appliances clean and service them regularly
  • keep water and items like wet clothes away from electrical items

If a fire does start in your home or office it is important that it is caught early to prevent it spreading and causing serious harm and damage. In the home you should test your smoke alarms and heat detectors regularly to make sure they’re working optimally. In the workplace there should be a wired or wireless fire alarm system in place to detect fire, for your own peace of mind you could ask your employer or the person responsible for the system how often the fire alarm system is tested.

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