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Avoid electrical fires this autumn

18 November 2019

WEST SUSSEX Fire & Rescue Service is encouraging residents and businesses to check electrical appliances to highlight the risk of fires.

The timely reminder coincides with Electrical Fire Safety Week, from 18-24 November.

In 2018/19:

  • The service attended almost 500 electrical fires in people’s home.
  • 48% of these incidents involved cooking equipment including ovens, grills, toasters and microwaves.
  • 26% of these call-outs were due to faulty wiring, with frayed or damaged leads and cables discovered by firefighters.
  • 82 call-outs were to electrical fires at businesses around the county and 51% were caused by faulty wiring, cables and plugs.

Nicki Peddle, head of prevention at West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service said, “There are simple things people can do to check their electrical appliances are safe, such as regularly checking the cables for damage and checking for hot plugs and sockets that may be damaged.”

The largest proportion of electrical fires WSFRS attends start in the kitchen.

Tips to prevent an electrical fire include:

  • Unplug all appliances and chargers when you’re not using them.
  • Don’t charge your phone overnight or for long periods of time unsupervised and don’t leave them to charge under pillows or piles clothes.
  • Don’t use more than one extension lead per socket
  • Don’t overload sockets (use https://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/guidance/safety-around-the-home/overloading-sockets/ to check
  • Use a charger from a reputable supplier.
  • Make sure you have a working smoke alarm on every level of your home.
  • Electrical equipment should never be thrown away in your bin as it contains hazardous substances. Unwanted appliances should be taken to your local Household Waste Recycling Site,  which is a free and easy way to recycle these items.

Remember if there’s a fire – get out, stay out and call 999. Never go back inside a burning building.