This week we will be promoting electrical fire safety as part of Electrical Fire Safety Week.
Did you know that over half of all accidental house fires are caused by electrical faults? And nine out of ten electrical fires are caused by electrical products? We want to raise awareness of electrical fire risks and the simple steps that people can take to avoid a fire in their home.
It’s worth carrying out a regular safety check to maintain good fire safety at home. Here’s a helpful checklist:
- Ensure correct fuses and circuit breakers are used.
- Only use appliances featuring British or European safety symbols.
- Avoid overloading sockets with plugs.
- Fully unravel extension cables so they are loose. If left tightly coiled, extension cables generate heat which can cause a fire.
- Never stretch power cables.
- Unplug all devices overnight (where possible).
- Avoid using portable heaters. If you do use them, make sure they are kept well away from anything that could burn.
- Only use laptops and tablets (e.g. iPad) on hard, flat surfaces.
- Do not leave washing machines, tumble driers or dishwashers running when you go out or go to bed.
Community Gateway checks the safety of every electrical installation in our tenants’ homes before they move in. We carry out further checks every five years. Inform us immediately on 0800 953 0213 if you discover a faulty, defective socket or switch or anything that relates to the fixed electrics in your home.
How to protect yourself
Internal doors – The doors within your property will provide you with some protection in the event of a fire and will slow down the spread of fire and smoke allowing you to make your exit.
- Close doors at night or other times when you are sleeping.
- Do not remove internal doors.
Smoke alarms/heat alarms - Smoke alarms and heat alarms provide you with early warnings in the event of a fire, allowing you and your family to get out of your home before it’s too late. Hard-wired interlinked smoke/ heat alarms are fitted in the hallways and landings of your home.
- Do not remove or cover your smoke/heat alarms.
- Do not paint your smoke/heat alarm.
- Test smoke/heat alarms at least once a month.
- Report any problems to Community Gateway by calling 0800 953 0213.
Fire escape plan - Being prepared for a fire can save lives. Fires are dangerous, because they spread quickly and create highly toxic fumes that can leave you unconscious in seconds. Knowing what to do in the event of a fire at home is vital.
- Create and practise your escape route. Make sure every person living in your household is aware of what it is. o Identify possible alternative escape routes.
- Keep keys to locked doors in the lock or nearby so that they can be opened easily.
- Keep the exit routes of your home clear of anything that may cause you to trip or slow down.
For further information about fire safety, see our guide here.