From overloaded extension leads and cheap chargers, through to white goods not fit for the job, issues with electrical items are a common cause of fire. So how can you reduce fire risks and keep yourself and your family safe?
Whether you own or rent your home, it's important to know the signs of a potential electrical problem. Look out for scorch marks, flickering lights, hot plugs and sockets, fuses that blow or circuit-breakers that trip for no obvious reason. These could all be signs of loose or dangerous wiring. If in doubt get them checked by a qualified electrician – you are within your rights to ask this of your landlord if you are a tenant.
It only takes a few minutes to check your home and get tailored advice for your family.
We provide free Home Fire Safety Visits where we can share our expertise on fire prevention, and even fit free smoke alarms if you need them.
We have attended 2787 fires in London connected to whitegoods like fridges, freezers, tumble dryers and washing machines since 2010.
If you are finding bills hard to pay, please never, ever use BBQs indoors or on balconies to cook or keep warm, and don't use candles as an alternative heat source. 272 fires were started in London in by candle use, and there were incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning. There is a lot of help available if energy costs are getting beyond your budget – Citizens Advice provides lots of info about grants and benefits to help you pay your energy bills or you can contact your energy company for advice.
If you would struggle in a power cut, talk to UK Power Networks about the Priority Services Register – a special, private list of customers who need extra help due to factors like mobility issues, vision or hearing impairments, or because they are older or unwell. You can find out more and sign up here. In the event of a powercut, call 105 . It's free of charge, and they are available with help and advice 24/7.