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Last updated: 01/08/2019, 3:40 PM

Firefighters urge people not to overload sockets after Morden house fire

01/02/2019 09:01
Merton
House or flat fire

Firefighters are urging people not to overload extension cables and power sockets after a fire at a house in Hazelwood Avenue in Morden.

The fire is believed to have been caused after two electric heaters plugged into an extension socket, which was then plugged in to an extension reel, overloaded the electrics.

Watch Manager Andy McKay, who was at the scene, said: “The family’s boiler had broken and while they were waiting for it to be repaired, were all sleeping downstairs in the front room on air mattresses and using electric heaters to keep them warm.

"The heaters were both plugged in to the same extension socket and this caused the electrics to overload, causing a small fire in the front room as a result.

“People should always make sure they don’t overload their extension leads as some appliances use more power than others and never plug extension cables into one another.

“It's also important to fully unwind drum extensions leads. If you leave them coiled, they can overheat and cause a fire.”

Thankfully an occupant of the property was in at the time of the fire and they raised the alarm. There were no injuries.

Part of the ground floor of the property was damaged by fire.

Firefighters’ tips for using heaters safely

  • Make sure heaters are well maintained and in good working order.
  • Never install, repair or service appliances yourself. Make sure anyone who does is registered with the Gas Safe Register (for gas appliances), the Heating Equipment Testing and Approval Scheme (HETAS) (for solid fuel appliances), or the Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC).
  • Don't take risks with old heaters – if it's electrical and getting older, get it tested by a qualified electrician or buy a new one.
  • Where appropriate, secure heaters against a wall to stop them falling over, or fit wall-mounted heaters.
  • Keep heaters well away from clothes, curtains and furniture and never use them for drying clothes.
  • Always sit at least one metre away from a heater as it could set light to your clothes or chair.
  • Before attempting to move your heater, turn it off and allow it to cool first.
  • Make sure you have a carbon monoxide alarm in addition to smoke alarms in all rooms of risk
  • You can book a free Home Fire Safety Visit at www.london-fire.gov.uk/safety/the-home/home-fire-safety-visits/

The Brigade was called at 0901 and the fire was under control at 0916. Two fire engines from Mitcham and Wimbledon fire stations attended the scene.