Andy Reynolds, Director of Prevention and Protection said:
"Electrical fires can happen to anyone and can be devastating. Plug-in heaters use a lot of electricity and generate a lot of heat. This means they can be dangerous if they are not bought from reputable shops and used correctly. With the winter just around the corner we are asking everyone who uses these heaters to take extra care. "
Electric heater safety tips
- Heaters should be kept away from furniture and fittings. Ensure that nothing can fall onto a heater.
- Keep at least three feet - one metre - away from them
- Have fireguards to prevent and protect children and/or pets coming in contact with them
- Never dry washing on or near them (or on fireguards)
- Try to secure heaters up against a wall to stop them falling over.
- Don't cover air vents on storage heaters or fan heaters.
Download the app
Between April 2009 and March 2014, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service had a total of 618 fires linked in some way to electricity.
The top five sources of ignition were:
1. Electricity supply - wiring, cabling, plugs, batteries and generators (261 incidents)
2. Domestic appliances - e.g. washing machines, hairdryers etc (176 incidents)
3. Cooking appliances (73 incidents)
4. Heating equipment including central heating (41 incidents)
5. Lighting (32 incidents)
Electrical Safety First has developed a free smartphone app that allows anyone to do a quick, visual check, to ensure their home is electrically safe. Designed to be as easy-to-use as possible, the app highlights potential dangers in each room and explains how to resolve simple, non-technical problems. Where more serious issues are flagged, people are advised to use a registered electrician.
The app is available for use on Android phones and on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
Find out more and download the app at: www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/visualchecks.
Additional safety advice can be found at: www.esfrs.org/electrical-safety-week/
The national awareness campaign is supported by the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA). CFOA President Peter Dartford said:
“Fire and Rescue Services around the UK are supporting Electrical Safety First’s campaign to raise awareness of the potential fire risks associated with portable heaters. Tragically, thirty people died in heater-related incidents in 2012-13.”
“In our work, we see so often the devastation that fire can cause, so campaigns like this that raise awareness of safety and prevention make a key contribution to reducing fire deaths and injuries even further.”