There have been 1,688 accidental dwelling fires across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent in the past three years with 341 – 20 per cent – of these caused by faulty electrical equipment.
During the same period of time, two people have lost their lives in this type of incident while six others have been injured.
A total of 145 blazes involving faulty electrical equipment, which equates to 43 per cent of all such fires, were classed as high severity, meaning they caused up to five square metres of damage.
Head of Risk Reduction Jim Bywater said: “We feel that now is a prudent time to issue a county-wide warning to people to check their electrical equipment and make sure that it is in good working order. As the nights are drawing in and the weather is getting colder, people are bringing out their heaters, electric blankets and switching on lamps for the first time this year.
“Statistics show that wiring, cabling and plugs are the top ignition source with 71 out of the 341 blazes being due to one of these factors. Although just over half of this type of incident don’t require any actual firefighting, the incidents that do require crews to tackle the blaze can be extremely distressing for the residents, causing a great deal of damage to properties which take time and money to rectify.”
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to adhere to the following safety precautions:
- Make sure all electrical appliances have a British or European safety mark when you buy them.
- Don’t overload your sockets – keep one appliance to one plug where possible.
- Unplug appliances when you go to bed or if they are not in use to reduce the risk of fire.
- High powered appliances such as washing machines should have a single plug socket.
For more information and advice on electrical fire safety visit: https://goo.gl/p7CNC
Media Office – Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service
Pirehill Stone ST15 0BS
01785 898578 or 01785 898581
Web : http://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/