With over 200 house fires in Lincolnshire being caused by electrical items, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service is encouraging householders to turn off their tumble dryers, dishwashers and washing machines before they go to bed at night.
New figures show that over the past year the Brigade attended 240 electrical fires in the county.
Faulty products or faulty wiring caused 87 fires, through things such as faulty motors, faulty circuit boards, damaged wires, trailing cables, and overloaded sockets.
13 fires were caused by tumble dryers. Overheating machines due to too many items of clothing in the drum and filters full of fluff, were two of the main reasons the dryers went up in flames.
Dishwashers and washing machines caused 15 fires. As these appliances combine heat, electrics and moisture, there is often a danger that a fault can occur. Sometimes, these products are faulty, and as such are subject to a recall. You can check if yours has been recalled at www.electricalsafetyfirst.co.uk/recall
Electric heaters caused a number of blazes, often caused by clothes being placed too close to the heat, and not resting the heaters on a stable surface.
Phone chargers, electric lighting and electric blankets were amongst the other causes of house fires.
Steve Screaton, deputy community safety manager, said: “Every year we have a number of fires caused by dishwashers, washing machines and tumble driers.
“Many people put their appliances on overnight – which is not advisable. Statistically, we know that families are almost three times more likely to die in fires which start in the night – if they don’t have working smoke alarms, they breathe in the poisonous smoke and never wake up.
“To avoid this and to keep your family safe, we would strongly suggest using your electrical items in the daytime when you are in your property.”
We’ve put together some tips on keeping safe:
1) Check the condition of your wiring – This should be done when you move into a new home and then once every 10 years. It’s the landlord’s responsibility if you rent your home. Ask to see a copy of the certificate or report confirming that the electrics meet the UK national standard BS 7671 (Requirements for Electrical Installations).
2) Check your sockets regularly – if you see burn marks or they feel hot, get a registered electrician to check them.
3) Turn off any electrical equipment you are not using – especially at night, when a fire can spread quickly while you sleep.
4) Regularly check flexible cables on kettles and other similar appliances – look for signs of fraying, general wear and tear, or a loose plug. Do this before you plug anything in.
5) Be careful when using hand-held electrical equipment – make sure you switch off and unplug when you have finished. This is important with items that get hot, for instance hairdryers or curling tongs, as they may come into contact with materials that can catch fire (like curtains).
6) Check the current rating of an electrical adaptor before you plug appliances in – make sure that the total current used does not exceed the adaptor’s rating.
7) Call the Fire and Rescue Service immediately if you smell burning that cannot be explained. They will have equipment such as thermal imaging cameras which will accurately detect objects that are overheating.