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Last updated: 22/01/2018, 5:09 PM

Electric heater warning after flat fire in Southwark

22/01/2018 19:47
Southwark
House or flat fire

Firefighters are urging people to take extra care when using electric heaters after a fire at a block of flats on Bath Terrace, in Southwark this evening.

A smoke alarm actuated alerting the flat’s occupants to the fire and two people left before the Brigade arrived.  A further two people also evacuated from a neighbouring property.  Fortunately no injuries are reported.

Part of a bedroom in the five roomed flat on the second floor was damaged by fire.  Smoke damaged the rest of the flat leaving it uninhabitable. 

The fire was accidental and is believed to have been caused by an electrical heater being placed on a bed and becoming covered by bedding. 

The Brigade was called at 1947 and the fire was under control at 2027. Four fire engines and 21 firefighters and officers from Dowgate, Plumstead and Lambeth fire stations attended the scene.

Back in January this year, the Brigade released new figures which showed that in 2016, there were 142 fires caused by electrical heaters, 31 injuries and one death.

Dan Daly, Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety at London Fire Brigade, said: "It's tempting to pull heaters close to you when the temperature drops but blankets and duvets or other material getting too close to heaters is a dangerous fire risk.

"Shockingly over two thirds of fatal fires involving heaters are caused by clothing or furniture being too close.

"People need to make sure their portable heaters are standing upright and kept well away from clothes, curtains or furniture.”

The Brigade’s advice for using portable heaters

  • Secure heaters against a wall to stop them falling over, or fit wall-mounted heaters 
  • Keep heaters away from clothes, curtain and furniture 
  • Sit at least one metre away from a heater as it could set light to your clothes or chair, especially if you fall asleep 
  • Always turn off your heater and allow it to cool before moving it