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Fire Safety Awareness

Electrical safety

Electrical items are used in day-to-day life within your home, which is why it is important to have a clear understanding of electrical safety to ensure that you, your loved ones and your home are always safe.  

A third of all accidental house fires are caused by faulty or misused electrical items.

You can carry out a few simple checks and precautions to ensure your home is electrical safe, let’s look:

Don't overload plug sockets

An extension lead will have a limit to how many amps it can take (usually 13 amps) so, to help reduce the risk of fire, be careful not to overload it. Try to keep to one plug per socket, especially for high powered appliances and avoid the use of single point multiplug adaptors. 

Keep electrical appliances clean and in good working order 

Look out for fuses that blow, circuit-breakers that trip for no obvious reason, and flickering lights, to prevent appliances from triggering a fire. If an appliance continues to blow a fuse or trip a breaker, then it  is likely to be faulty and should be replaced. 

Regularly check for frayed or worn cables and wires  

Check to see if the cable is in good working order and has no inner cable insulation visible through cracks or splits. Ensure that the cable is fastened securely to the plug and check the socket for scorch marks. You should always carry out these checks before you use an appliance. 

Switch off and unplug appliances when not in use  

Ensure you switch off and unplug appliances when you go to bed or when you go out,  unless they are designed to be left on, like fridge freezers. This helps to reduce the risk of fire. 

Buy your electrical chargers from a reputable source  

Make sure your appliances have a British or European safety mark. Many imported chargers do not meet UK safety regulations and can often cause electric shocks or fires. Be sure to: 

  • Register your appliances so you will be notified of any safety repairs/recalls. Click here to register your appliance. 
  • Place your devices, such as  laptops and game consoles, on a well-ventilated surface and not on beds or sofas 
  • Switch off hair straighteners/curling tongs after use and leave them to cool on a heat resistant surface, away from curtains, carpets and anything else that can catch fire. 
Ensure electrical sources are kept away from water 

Water and electricity can be a deadly mix, that’s why there are no plug sockets or electrical units in the bathroom. There can however, be a shaver supply, which must be fitted at least three metres away from the bath or shower.  

It is important to note, if there is water running through any electrical items, (i.e. a light fitting) do not turn on the main power supply as this can cause a spark. You should contact Beyond Housing on 0345 065 5656 and report this as a matter of urgency.  

Electric heaters and blankets 

Electric heaters and blankets are very popular products used to stay warm during the winter months. When using these items,  make sure the heater is on a steady, flat surface in an uncluttered area. Avoid putting it against a wall, as this may reduce ventilation. It is also important to use these types of items for their intended purpose (for example, avoid using an electric heater for drying clothes).  

When using an electric blanket, ensure it is unplugged before getting into bed (unless it has a thermostat control for safe all-night use and always be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions). Like most electrical items, you will need to regularly examine it for signs of damage.  

If you have any concerns about any electrical faults in your home, please contact Beyond Housing on 0345 065 5656 to log any repairs so the work can be checked and completed safely. 

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