Learn how to make sure that your electrical appliances don't put you and your family at risk from fire by following these simple steps:
Avoiding electrical fires
- Never leave electrical items plugged in or unattended especially at night, when a fire can spread quickly whilst you are asleep.
- Regularly check flexible cables on all electrical appliances.
- Make sure you have a working smoke alarm.
It’s a good idea to check plugs and plug wires regularly. Plugs and their cables can be damaged with use.
- Look for cracks or damage on the casing.
- Look for signs of overheating, such as discoloured casing or cables.
- Check the plug meets British Standard BS 1363 – it will be marked on the back.
Check regularly for the following danger signs:
- A smell of hot plastic or burning near an appliance or socket.
- Blackness or scorch marks around a socket or plug, or on an appliance.
- Damaged or frayed leads.
- Fuses that blow or circuit-breakers that operate for no obvious reason.
- If a charger does not easily plug into a socket, the pins may be the wrong size or length. This can cause overheating to both the socket and the charger, which can be dangerous.
- Fake mobile phone chargers are often made with poor quality components that fail to meet UK safety regulations. This means they could cause injury, electric shocks and even fires.
- Always buy your charger from a reputable retailer to ensure that you are not sold a fake one.
- Never overload an extension lead by plugging in too many appliances. This could cause the plug on the wall socket to overheat and possibly cause a fire.
- Only use one socket extension lead per socket and never plug an extension lead into another extension lead.
- Look out for product recall notices.
- Register your appliance. Appliances up to 12 years old can be registered on the Register My Appliance website.
- Don’t run appliances like tumble dryers, washing machines or dishwashers overnight or when you are out.
- Always read the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Have your appliance serviced by a qualified engineer.
- Do not put rags or materials into a tumble dryer if they have been used to soak up flammable liquids.
For more safety advice visit Electrical Safety First.