A third of all accidental house fires are caused by faulty or misused electrical equipment but you can carry out a few simple checks and precautions to make your home safer.

Be a bright spark:

  • Unplug electrical appliances when not in use (unless designed to be left on e.g. Fridge)
  • Register your appliances so you will be notified of any safety repairs/recalls

Register your appliance here.

  • Maintain tumble dryers and washing machines clean and clear excess fluff
  • Keep all appliances clean, safe and in working order
  • Make sure appliances have a British or European Safety Mark
  • Don’t overload plug sockets – extension leads/adaptors have a limit to how many amps they can take, try to keep one plug per socket especially for high powered appliances

Visit the Socket Overload Calculator and check your risk.

  • Unplug electric blankets before going to bed (unless it has a thermostat for all-night use)
  • Keep electric blankets flat folding damages the internal wiring, store flat/rolled instead
  • Always buy new electric blankets and check regularly for wear and tear
  • Keep heaters away from curtains and furniture and never use them to dry clothes
  • Use an ironing board and turn off after use and leave to cool on a heat resistant surface
  • Devices e.g. laptops should be on a well-ventilated surface and not on beds or sofas
  • Switch off hair straighteners/curling tongs after use and leave to cool on a heat resistant surface away from curtains, carpets and anything else that can catch fire
  • Regularly check for worn/frayed wires ensure cables are secured properly to the plug
  • Use an Residual Current Device (RCD) it’s like a circuit breaker to protect against electric shocks and electrical fire risk

Useful links