Take Care When Buying Electrical Goods

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In the lead up to Christmas, we’re supporting Electrical Safety First’s Electrical Safety campaign, and so we’d like to remind our residents to be careful when buying electrical goods.

55% of all accidental domestic fires in England had an electrical origin in 2017/2018.* Faulty electrical items are a leading cause of fires but, with care, the risk of an accident can be reduced.

Make sure that your electrical goods come from a reputable supplier and that it meets safety regulations. Counterfeiters may be selling electrical items that do not meet UK safety regulations, and consequently may catch fire or explode. Electrical Safety First estimates that 1 in 5 counterfeit items are at risk of exploding due to unsafe internal components.

Electrical goods should also not be left charging overnight, and plugs should be turned off at night.

Additionally, you can register large appliances for free at registermyappliance.co.uk, so that if there are any product recalls or service updates you will be automatically notified.

To prevent electrical fires:

  • Always buy electrical chargers from a reputable source and that are the correct type for the item in use - many imported chargers do not meet UK safety regulations and may not be suitable for use with your equipment /item.
  • Ensure mobile phones and other appliances are not left charging for long periods of time and never leave them to charge overnight.
  • Never leave mobile phones and other appliances on or under your pillow or on or under the bed covers (or soft furnishings) while you are sleeping – they could overheat and start a fire.
  • Don’t overload plug sockets – keep to one plug per socket.
  • Look out for signs of dangerous or loose wiring e.g. scorch marks, hot plugs/sockets, flickering lights, fuses that blow or circuit breakers that trip for no obvious reason.
  • Make sure any electrical appliances you buy have a British or European safety mark and are used in line with the manufacturer’s guidance.
  • Unplug electrical appliances when you are not using them and when you go to bed (unless they are designed to be left on e.g. freezers).
  • Keep appliances clean and in good working order e.g. regularly remove lint from tumble dryer filters, and keep ovens, grills and hobs free from grease and grime.
  • Ensure the area around the electrical intake/under-stair cupboard is kept free from clutter.

Station Manager, Chris Holland, said: “Fires that arise from electrical objects, though common, are often avoidable. If you follow advice such as not overloading plug sockets, unplugging appliances when not in use and buying items from reputable sources, you can greatly reduce your chance of an accidental fire.”

*Electrical Safety First