This Electrical Fire Safety Week, Hertfordshire County Council’s fire and rescue service is reminding residents to take steps to reduce the risk of electrical fires in their homes.
Hertfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Terry Hone, said: “Electrical fires account for almost half of allaccidental house fires in the UK.
“All residents should be taking steps to prevent these types of fires in their homes and can easily reduce their risk by following some simple advice.”
White goods, such as fridges, freezers, dishwashers, cookers, washing machines and tumble dryers continue to be a source of fires.
Follow these simple steps to reduce the risk in your home:
- Remember good installation and maintenance is required – read and follow the instruction manuals of white goods and make a note of any warnings. If you lose the instructions, then check the manufacturer’s website to see if you can download them.
- Take note of strange noises and ensure your property is kept clean and in a useable condition – if your appliance starts to make strange noises or takes longer to work, stop using it and have it checked. Regular good housekeeping will also help, for example clean out the vent hose on a tumble dryer, clean the fatty grills on a cooker, and clean the dust vents on a fridge.
- Don’t leave appliances unattended when in use – unless the appliance is designed for continued use,such as a fridge.Don’t leaveappliances running if your home is unoccupied or while you are sleeping.
- Register your appliance – fewer than half of us register our appliances. However, registering your appliances allows manufacturers to trace the appliance if recalled or to undertake safety repairs. AMDEA is an online safety initiative supported by the government. You can register several appliances, both new and old ones up to 12 years old at www.registermyappliance.org.uk
- Check whether your appliance has been recalled – you can check whether an appliance that you have, or intend to buy second hand, has been recalled and get further advice from the organisation Electrical Safety First. Visit www.electricitysafetyfirst.org.uk
- Check up on elderly family and friends – take the time to help any of your older friends and family that may need assistance with registering their appliances and checking for recalls.
- Install safety devices – we recommend that all homes install and maintain safety devices such as smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and consider possible escape routes in the event of a fire in their home.
Hertfordshire County Council’s fire and rescue service also offers free home safety checks, for more information visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/firesafety