Nearly 500 electrical fires leads to West Sussex fire service starting safety campaign

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After attending 496 electrical fires in 2017/18 the fire service has launched a new safety campaign.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is urging residents to be more fire safe at home as part of electrical fire safety month.

More than half of these fires started in a cooker, oven, or as a result of faulty wiring or plugs.

With the Christmas approaching, many households will be using extra lighting and wires to decorate homes and trees.

John Lainsbury, business fire safety manager, said: “We can all do something to prevent an electrical fire, from unplugging your chargers to having your electrics checked by a qualified electrician.”

The service are advising people not to charge phones or e-cigarettes overnight or for long periods of time unsupervised, check leads and cables for fraying and other damage regularly and to check smoke alarms weekly.

They’re also advising that people should check for hot plugs or sockets and scorch marks, check fuses that often blow or flickering lights, unplug all appliances and chargers when not using them, make sure sockets and adaptors aren’t overloaded, avoid ‘daisy chaining’ and make sure that appliances are fused correctly.

More than half of all house fires start in the kitchen.

They are advising you should keep anything that can catch fire away from the stove top, and never leave the kitchen while cooking.

Electrical equipment should never be thrown away as it contains hazardous substances.

Unwanted appliances should be taken to a local household waste recycling site.

Debbie Kennard, West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for safer, stronger communities, added: “It’s vital that our residents are aware of how easy it can be for a fire to start at home if the right precautions aren’t taken.

“Please ensure you take care and listen to the advice of our experienced firefighters.”

For more tips or to arrange a free home fire safety visit, contact www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire and select ‘keeping safe campaigns.’