Be a bright spark about electrical safety

website featured imageCleveland Fire Brigade has teamed up with the Electrical Safety Council to raise awareness of the dangers of electricity and pass on vital safety tips during Electrical Fire Safety Week from Monday 23rd to Sunday 29th September.

With a third of all accidental home fires in Teesside over the past year being caused by faulty or misused electrical equipment, the Brigade is holding a series of drop-in events to advise people on how to reduce the risks in their home. It’s also encouraging people to bring along any small electrical items which they are concerned about – such as toasters or electric blankets – for a free safety check. Through funding from the Electrical Safety Council the Brigade is also working with Moneywise Community Banking, who can assist with financial support for new electrical goods.

The drop-in events are:

  • Middleton Grange Shopping Centre (Main Atrium) in Hartlepool on Tuesday 24th September from 10am to 4pm
  • Thornaby Pavilion Shopping Centre in Stockton on Wednesday 25th September from 10am to 4pm
  • Cleveland Centre (Outside Costa Coffee) in Middlesbrough on Thursday 26th September from 10am to 4pm
  • Redcar High Street (near W H Smith) on Friday 27th September from 10am to 4pm

Les Jones, Head of Community Safety said, “Millions of people across the UK expose themselves to potentially fatal accidents at home, particularly in the kitchen, because they don’t understand the dangers of electricity.

“It is essential to ensure all your electrical goods are kept in good working order and used and maintained as recommended by the manufacturer. I would urge all residents to follow our safety tips to help keep you, your family and your home safe. Come and see us to find out more, or visit our website for more information.”

Key electrical safety tips include:

  • Unplug all appliances when not in use eg laptops/phone chargers/hair straighteners.
  • Keep electrical equipment clean and in good working order
  • Ensure tumble dryers and washing machines are cleaned and maintained – excess fluff can build up over time and catch fire
  • Check regularly for frayed or worn cables
  • Always use the right fuse on your appliance to prevent overloading
  • Don’t overload plug sockets – extension leads and adaptors will have a limit to how many amps they can take. Try to keep one plug per socket
  • Look after your electrical blanket and unplug them before you go to bed, unless it has a thermostat for safe all-night use
  • Keep heaters clear from curtains and furniture – never use them to dry clothes

Throughout the week firefighters and Brigade staff will also be out and about across Teesside raising awareness of the dangers of electrical fires and how residents can reduce the risk.

Cindy Collins, who almost died when a fire, which was caused by an electrical fault, ripped through her Hartlepool home, is backing Cleveland Fire Brigade’s campaign and urging people to stay safe in their homes by following the Brigade’s advice. She said, “Not only did my family lose 97% of our possessions, but I also nearly lost my life. It was a terrifying experience and one which I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through, so please ensure you follow the Brigade’s safety advice and take any precautions you can to reduce the risk of fire in your home.”

For more information visit www.clevelandfire.gov.uk/electrical where you can also use the socket overload calculator, to see if you are safe and get useful tips on how to avoid overloading your sockets. You can also join us on Facebook (/clevelandfb) or Twitter (@ClevelandFB) for updates and news.