Defuse danger of electrical fires, Wiltshire residents urged (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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Defuse danger of electrical fires, Wiltshire residents urged
Electrical Fire Safety Week starts on Monday and Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service has joined forces with the Fire Kills campaign and the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) to urge people to be more aware of the potential risks in their homes.
Research carried out by the ESC has revealed a dangerous level of ignorance about the perils of electricity in UK households, with simple blunders putting homes and families at risk. In Wiltshire alone, in 2011-12, there were 219 accidental home fires caused by something electrical.
The ESC found that, over the course of last year, almost one million people repaired an appliance while it was still plugged in; 12.2 million people knowingly used faulty plugs or sockets; and two million people trailed cables near hot surfaces or cookers.
Electrical accidents are often caused by simple things that people could check themselves and rectify for little or no cost. By following a few simple steps, you can help keep you and your loved ones safe from fire.
These are: Don’t overload plug sockets, regularly check for worn or frayed wires, unplug appliances when not in use and keep appliances clean and in good working order.
Watch Manager Neil Chamberlain, from Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service’s community safety department, said: “Electricity is an integral part of all our lives, from the essentials like heating and lights to luxuries like entertainment systems and beauty products. Half of all accidental fires start from faulty or misused electrical equipment, so it is essential to be sure that your electrics are in good working order and are used properly. All too often, it is the simple things that people could check for themselves that can lead to a serious fire.”
The ESC has produced a free app for iPhones, iPads and Android devices to help you make a simple visual check of your home’s electrical safety – just go to the App Store or Android Market, search for Home Electrical Safety Check and follow the instructions to download.
For further advice on safety in the home, visit www.wiltsfire.gov.uk