Avoiding electrical fires in the home


sparking plug


Electrical fires are all too common in the home, and are increasingly common as we have greater and growing need to charge our various devices.  The average home has 7.4 devices which could lead to the temptation to overload plug sockets.  This is only one of several common causes of electrical fires in the home.  This guide can help keep you safe.

Be wary of your wiring

Plug sockets and extension cables can easily become overloaded, casing plugs to spark, putting your home in danger.  Blocks which allow you to plug in multiple items should specifically never be used with track extension cables.  Don't use a plug with cracked housing either - it could mean that the plug is not grounded and lead to an electric shock.

Check your cabling

Upcycling has seen a huge revival in recent years and while giving older items a new lease of life is good for the environment (and your pocket!), it could mean that you overlook a potential hazard.  Any fraying or twisting to the cable or an item with a loose plug could cause a spark when plugged in.  It's best to replace the item if the cable is frayed and dispose of the item as indicated by the manufacturer.

Unsupervised charging

Your phone and laptop chargers can become hot when charging, so it's best not to leave these items plugged in to charge without supervision, or overnight.  If you must, you should ensure that they are away from soft furnishings and on a heat protective surface.

Mobile heaters

Space heaters and electric blankets can cause a huge fire risk in your home.  Space heaters should be kept away from a confined space and shouldn't be covered at any time.  Electric blankets should be switched off when not in use.

Own a class E fire extinguisher

These fire extinguishers are specifically for electrical fires.  Putting water on an electrical fire will cause further damage and could cause widespread damage to your home electrics if they spark and short all of the electrics in your home.  No other type of fire extinguisher should be used on an electrical fire either.  The extinguisher type is clearly labelled on the side of the canister.

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Image credit: Blackout Concepts / Alamy Stock Photo

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    CJ Montague, Deputy Editor



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