Continuing the recent theme of faulty appliances and the associated dangers of fire, we came across a report that faulty or misused electrical equipment caused more than 200 fires in homes in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes last year, leading to 26 injuries.
Now Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service and the Electrical Safety Council are campaigning to urge householders to take action so that they don’t become one of this year’s statistics.
Faulty plugs and wiring, and electrical equipment such as hair straighteners accidentally left on, are among the numerous and often unnoticed fire hazards in the typical home. In addition, many sockets could still be overloaded with space heaters and electric blankets because of the cold weather.
This picture of a dangerously overloaded 13-amp wall socket was not posed – it was taken with the owner’s permission while Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service was carrying out a safety check in someone’s home. He had connected three adapters to each other and plugged in 14 electrical items.
Chris Bailey, head of Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service’s community safety team, said: “Fires in the home can be devastating, but many could have been prevented if people had simply unplugged a piece of equipment after using it or not tried to run too many items off an adapter.
“For example, during a recent home safety check, our staff found 14 plugs attached to a single 13-amp wall socket. Three adapters had been connected to each other, and if it wasn’t already enough of a fire hazard, there were no smoke alarms in the home and the whole lot had been covered with a bean bag to make it look tidier!”