Fire chiefs urge families to take electrical safety steps

FAMILIES are being encouraged to take simple steps to make sure their homes are safe from electrical fires.

This week is Electrical Fire Safety Week, and the Fire Kills campaign and Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue have joined forces with the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) to offer people advice on staying safe.

Debbie Robinson, deputy community fire safety manager, said: “Just under a third of our house fires last year started from faulty or misused electrical equipment, so it’s 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 accident. So we’re urging everyone to make basic visual checks around the home to ensure its electrical safety”.

Top tips for reducing the risk of an electrical fire include not overloading plug sockets, and the need to regularly check for worn or frayed wires.

The emergency service also recommends that you unplug appliances when not in use, paying special attention to items such as hair straighteners.

You should also keep appliances clean and in good working order, and avoid leaving laptops and mobile phones on charge overnight.

Lorraine Carney, senior campaigns manager for the Electrical Safety Council, said: “Our free app helps anyone to do a quick visual check on their home by highlighting the potential dangers in each room and explaining how to resolve basic problems in simple, non-technical language.

“It will also flag more serious issues, for which you should use a registered electrician

“It is available for iPhone and Android phones – just go to the App Store or Android Market, search for ‘Home Electrical Safety Check’ and follow the instructions to download.”