Electrical Fire Safety WeekPosted
Today marks the start of Electrical Fire Safety Week (10th-16th November) - with North Wales Fire and Rescue Service warning residents of the potential dangers of electrical fires as one of the biggest causes of accidental house fires in the country.
To coincide with the nationwide campaign, staff from the Service will be visiting shopping locations across North Wales to talk to residents about electrical fire safety and raise awareness of the dangers.
Gary Brandrick, Senior Fire Safety Manager for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, explained: "We attend around 470 accidental fires in dwellings each year and electricity or electrical items are responsible for around 300 of these fires.
"Electrical fires present a real risk to homeowners, often resulting in significant damage to property and sometimes with the most tragic consequences. Whilst remaining subject to a Coroner's Inquest, the investigations into the double fatality in Llanrwst recently determined the fire was most likely to have started in a tumble dryer.
"Last year, 112 of such fires were due to electrical faults - but the majority of electrical fires are caused by misuse of the electrical items. It's important to operate appliances according to the manufacturers' instructions and to check electrical items and leads for signs of damage or wear. So many residents use old or dangerous electrical items and overload their sockets, causing a potentially fatal fire risk.
"Storage of combustible material in cupboards housing electrical meters and fuse boxes is another area that can raise the risk of a devastating house fire. Storing items close to the electrical equipment increases the risk of damage and overheating and then can help rapid fire growth.
"This is why we felt that it was important to get the electrical safety message out to our residents and promote Electrical Fire Safety Week. Shoppers will be asked to undertake a quick electrical safety quiz, and in exchange will receive a useful extension lead along with advice on how to use appliances safely.
"Smoke alarms are the single most effective step that anyone can take to protect themselves from fire in the home - yet it is still a fact that around 20% of incidents we are called to reveal homes that do not have a working smoke alarm.
"Electrical fires can happen to anyone, anywhere so our advice is to get prepared and stay safe - this week is a good time to make sure you have a working smoke alarm and make a conscious effort to take extra care with electrical items.
"And why not give our 'ampage' calculator on our website and Facebook page a go - it tells you if you are overloading your sockets and helps you to stay electrically safe."
For a free home fire safety check, where new smoke alarms will be fitted where needed totally free of charge, please call the 24 hour hotline on 0800 1691243, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.nwales-fireservice.org.uk or text or text 88365, prefixing the message with the word HFSC.
This week's events:
Monday, 10th November - Asda Kimnel Bay (10am - 3pm)
Tuesday, 11th November - Asda Porthmadog (10am - 3pm), Charlies Queensferry (11am - 1pm)
Wednesday, 12th November - Co -operative store Dolgellau (10am -3pm)