Residents across Cleveland are being urged to follow some simple electrical safety tips to help them and others stay safe and free from injury.
The call from Cleveland Fire Brigade’s Head of Community Safety Les Jones forms part of the Brigade’s Kitchen Safety campaign which runs for the month of February.
Latest figures released by Cleveland Fire Brigade show that between that April 2013 and January 2014 there were 113 accidental house fires in Cleveland, 45 (40%) of which were electrical-related.
Les Jones said: “Although overall accidental house fires are continuing to drop year-on-year, a significant proportion are still electrically-related.
“Not everyone is aware of the dangers that household appliances such as fridges, freezes and tumble dryers can cause if they are not properly maintained.
“A big part of our preventative work, including our free Home Safety Fire Visits, is spent reminding people of the hazards that electrical equipment can pose and how they can remain safe in their home.
“Our message to the people of Cleveland is that if they follow some simple tips, fires in the home can be prevented. The kitchen is the most dangerous room in the home – remember your kitchen can kill.”
Top tips from Cleveland Fire Brigade include the following:
- Unplug appliances when not in use, unless they are designed to be left on, like your fridge or freezer
- Regularly check for worn or frayed wires – always ensure cables are secured properly to the plug before plugging in anything
- Ensure tumble dryers and washing machines are cleaned and maintained – excess fluff can build up over time and catch fire
- Keep all appliances clean and in good working order – look out for fuses that blow, circuit-breakers that trip for no obvious reason and flickering light
- Check all of your appliances have a British or European Safety Mark. Get a qualified person to check if you are unsure
- Use an RCD (Residual Current Device). It works like a circuit breaker to protect against electric shocks and electrical fire risk
You can visit our kitchen safety house and find out further safety information at www.clevelandfire.gov.uk/kitchen or join us on Facebook or Twitter.
To help keep you and your family safe from fire,the Brigade provides free Home Fire Safety Visits and will fit smoke alarms if needed. Call 01429 874063 to arrange a visit to your home and you will receive specific fire safety advice for you and your family.