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Electrical Fire Safety Week 2020


As part of Electrical Fire Safety Week (23rd-29th November) Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service (DFRS) is calling on people to take care with electrical items to reduce the risk of fire in their homes.

With many people working from home we’re aware there may be a lot more electrical items being used in the home than normal. Whether working from a home office, or from the comfort of the sofa, it’s likely people may being using an extra extension lead to charge their laptop, phone and tablet, increasing the risk of fire. 

On top of working from home, Christmas is fast approaching and many families are dusting off their decorations and lighting up their homes early to get into the festive spirit. Whilst we understand we all need our spirits lifting this year, we want to make sure everyone enjoys the festive period safely.

Prevention Station Manager Mark Whitelaw said: “Our homes have become full of tech and electrical items that aim to make life easier but we must not become complacent about the safe use of any electrical item. Over the last year we attended 40 accidental house fires cause by electrical items, with 7 people injured as a result of them. It’s really important that you take steps to reduce the risk of a fire and you can do this by turning off electrical items at the end of your working day, switching electrical items that are designed to be switched off, off overnight and ensuring you never leave electrical items and tech charging while you sleep.

“Also, if you’re putting your decorations up early please remember not to attach decorations to lights, and if you have a real tree, make sure it doesn’t dry out as the heat from lights can easily start a fire.

“If the worst was to happen and a fire did break out in your home its vital you know what to do and that you are alerted to the fire, no matter what time of day it is. Ensure you have working smoke alarms fitted on every level of your home and test them weekly – a working smoke alarm can give you and your family the vital time needed to get out, stay out and call 999.

“Keep yourself and your loved ones safe by testing your alarm regularly and by practising your escape routes.”

To help keep you and your family safe this winter, please follow our top electrical and fire safety tips below:

  • Always check that you use the right fuse to prevent overheating.
  • Make sure an electrical appliance has a British or European safety (CE) mark.
  • Make sure appliances such as washing machines have a plug to themselves.
  • Keep to one plug per socket, and turn sockets off when not in use.
  • Keep your eyes peeled for signs of dangerous or loose wiring such as scorch marks, hot plugs and sockets, fuses that have blown, or circuit-breakers that trip for no obvious reasons, and flickering lights.
  • Make sure you always use the correct charger for the device you’re charging, i.e mobile phones, tablets, laptops, e-cigs etc. 
    • All chargers have a different output, so only use chargers supplied with the device, or a manufacturer purchased charger if a replacement is needed.
  • When charging devices such as laptops, phones, tablets and e-cigs, ensure they aren’t left unattended and never leave them plugged in and charging whilst asleep.