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05 April 2019

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service issues fire safety warning after laptop fire

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service has issued a fire safety warning urging people not to leave electrical devices on soft furnishings like beds or sofas.

The warning comes after an incident involving a fire in a home that was caused by an overheating laptop which had been left on a bed.

Fire crews from Kirkby Stephen and Appleby attended the bedroom fire at a property at Soulby, near Kirkby Stephen, at 8pm on Wednesday 3 April. They used breathing apparatus and a hose reel jet to extinguish the fire.

Edward Burrows, Community Safety Manager from Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service, said: “This fire was caused by an overheating laptop that was left on a bed. Fortunately no one was injured in this incident but the fire caused damage to the property.

“We would take this opportunity to warn the public and residents of Cumbria that they should not leave electrical devices on soft furnishings like beds or sofas. Laptops/phones and tablets contain Lithium batteries that get very hot and if not free to air, can build up heat potentially causing a fire.

“Laptops specifically have air vents underneath the computer that are designed to allow the device to cool, if you have ever used a laptop on your lap you may have felt the build-up of heat as clothing stops this ventilation.”

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service recommends that users of laptops should:
  • Always use your laptop on a hard, flat surface like a table. (Never on a bed, carpets or couch cushion.) 
  • Never block the air vents on the back or sides of the portable computer. 
  • Every now and then, check out the laptop’s air vents to remove dust or debris blocking the ventilation. 
  • Never use a laptop power cord or extension cord that is damaged as it can start a laptop fire. 
  • Turn off devices when not in use and avoid leaving them unattended when switched on. 
  • Make sure you have working smoke detectors 
For further information contact Cumbria County Council's communications team on 01228 221008 or 226601.


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Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service issues fire safety warning after laptop fire