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22 November 2017

More needs to be done to keep people safe from electrical fires

That’s the message from Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service and Electrical Safety First ahead of this year’s national Electrical Safety Week - Wednesday 22 November - Wednesday 29 November.

While there has been a general drop in domestic fires across the country, dropping from 33,280 in 2012-13 to 31,267 in 2015-16, the percentage with an electrical origin has consistently stayed at approximately 50%. Across England there were a total of 18,375 electrical fires in 2015-16, causing 2,448 fatalities and injuries. That’s an average of 47 each week, and seven a day.

Last year in Cumbria, there were 391 domestic fires and 68 of these were caused by electricity. That is 17.4% of the total.  The main causes of these fires are product misuse and faulty appliances or installations. Domestic electrical white goods, such as dishwashers, tumble dryers, and fridge freezers are one of the leading causes of electrical fires in England. Last year, 1,873 fires were caused by white goods, the equivalent of five fires per day.

Electrical Safety First and Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service have some simple tips to help people use the white goods in their homes safely:

  1. Always buy from a reputable dealer/manufacturer and never buy second hand white goods.
  2. Always register your appliance with the manufacturer so you can be notified if there’s a problem. Visit www.registermyappliance.org.uk
  3. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. If you’re concerned about an appliance in your home, use Electrical Safety First’s online product checker to see if it has been recalled.
  5. Visit www.whitegoodsafety.com for advice on using your appliances safely

Phil Buckle, Chief Executive at Electrical Safety First, said:

“Electricity is the cause of over half of all domestic house fires in England each year. Faulty appliances and installations along with the misuse of electricity are amongst the major causes of these electrical fires, leading to avoidable deaths and injuries. With more than five fires a day in England caused by white goods, the Government needs to take immediate action to reduce this figure.”

Mark Ducie, Station Manager for Prevention at Cumbria FRS, said:

“A high number of fires in Cumbria are caused by the misuse of electrical appliances and these can be easily prevented.  A house fire can have devastating and long term effects, not only destroying belongings and memories but also putting you and your loved ones at risk. We are urging everybody to follow our simple advice that will help them to stay safe in their homes.”

For more advice and safety tips on protecting your home from electrical fires and accidents visit www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/saferhomes, or search #SaferHomes on social media.

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That�s the message from Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service and Electrical Safety First ahead of this year�s national Electrical Safety Week � Wednesday 22 November � Wednesday 29 November.