East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is urging members of the public to check their chargers following a house fire in Hastings.
On July 6 at 00:10am, crews from The Ridge and Hastings were called to attend a fire at a residential property on Dane Road, Hastings. The fire was out on arrival but caused damage to the kitchen.
Residents were alerted to the fire by their smoke alarm. The fire is believed to have emanated from an incorrect charger being used, the fire service said.
The service also said that every year, over half of accidental domestic fires in the UK are caused by electricity. Most of these are caused by electrical products, either through misuse or faults. Over half of these electrical fires start in the kitchen, with cooking appliances and white goods the main cause.
An ESFRS spokesman said: “Product misuse is the top cause of accidental fires in British homes and the number has increased by over a third since 2009.
“Millions of people commit basic electric safety ‘blunders’ in the home without realising that they are exposing themselves to the risk of fire or electric shock.
“Modern living means we are using more and more electrical appliances in the home. Just twenty years ago, the average UK home would have had a hi-fi system and one TV or video. Today, it is more likely that there are at least two TVs, a DVD player, a satellite receiver, games console, microwave, computer and more. So, the risk of electrical accidents in the home is much higher than before.”
The fire service issued some safety advice to prevent against electrical fires. It urges people not to overload electrical adaptors by plugging too many appliances into one socket, especially those with a high electrical current rating such as kettles, irons and heaters. Visit electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/overloadingsockets to check that your sockets are safe.
Before plugging your appliances in for use, check flexible cables for damage, wear and tear, and that the plug is fastened securely to the cable. Don’t use the appliance unless it and its cable are in good condition.
Check your sockets regularly – if you see burn marks or they feel hot, get a registered electrician to check if they need repairing or replacing.
Make sure that you have a working smoke alarm on each floor of your property – if a fire does start, this will give you a chance to get out safely and call 999 for help.
Further information, advice and guidance on electrical safety can be found at www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/.