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Avoiding electrical fires – how to keep safe at home



From overloaded extension leads and cheap chargers, through to white goods not fit for the job, issues with electrical items are a common cause of fire. So how can you reduce fire risks and keep yourself and your family safe?
10 must-knows for electrical device safety

  • Always make sure electrical appliances have a British or European safety mark when you buy them.
  • Keep electrical appliances clean and in good working order.
  • Don't buy cheap counterfeit chargers for items that use lithium batteries, and never leave phones or laptops plugged in to charge overnight.
  • Empty fluff regularly from tumble dryers in line with the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Hair straighteners can get extremely hot – always switch them off and leave them to cool on a heatproof surface.
  • Try to keep to one plug per socket, especially for high powered appliances like washing machines.
  • Always check that you’re using the right fuse – if you're confused, check out our guide to fuses. 
  • Be lead safety savvy – cable drum extension leads should always be completely unwound to avoid overheating, and be careful not to overload extension leads.
  • Register your white goods – it could save your life if a product is recalled for safety reasons.

Share your fire safety knowledge with the whole family – check the kids' chargers, and make sure everyone knows how to use electric blankets safely.
Struggling with energy issues?
If you are finding bills hard to pay, please never, ever use BBQs indoors or on balconies to cook or keep warm, and don't use candles as an alternative heat source.
This link provides some excellent advice on electrical safety and a video - Saving Money Safely | Electrical Safety First or Electrical items - Fire safety at home | London Fire Brigade (london-fire.gov.uk)