Basic Electrical Safety
Due to a recent rise in fires being caused by Electrical faults in and around Abbey Ward and the Bearwood area, West Midlands Fire Service is asking people to follow the Basic Electrical Safety Tips below:
• Check the condition of sockets and plugs regularly, check for physical signs of damage i.e. cracking, burn marks and charring hot plugs.
• New products should always have a British or European safety mark.
• Never overload electrical adaptors – keep to one correctly fused adaptor per socket. For further guidance please follow the link below for our Socket Overload Calculator. http://www.wmfs.net/content/overloading-sockets-calculator
• Turn off any electrical appliances that you are not in use, particularly at night, unless they are designed to remain on i.e. fridges.
• Always keep electrics (leads and appliances) away from water/liquid. Related Safety advice
• Be careful when using hand held electrical appliances and make sure that they are switched off and unplugged after use e.g. curling tongs, hair dryers and straighteners** (**Hair straighteners can burn a child up to 8 minutes after they’ve been switched off and unplugged. Place straighteners, preferably in a suitable heat resistant pouch, well out of the reach of children).
• Keep electrical appliances clean and in good working order. Be aware of fuses that repeatedly blow, circuit breakers that trip for no obvious reason and constantly flickering lights may be indication of an electrical fault, which if ignored, may result in a fire. If you experience such occurrences, consult a qualified registered electrician.
• Electric heaters should not be used to dry clothes and should be kept away from curtains and furniture.
• Never trail flexible cables under carpets or rugs, as this may cause wear and tear to the cable.
• Never trail flexible cables across stairways or exit routes, as this creates additional hazards when exiting the property in an emergency.
• Make sure that leads from appliances, like kettles or toasters, do not trail across cookers or any other heat source.
• Never dry towels on, or near, the cooker.
• Ensure that fat and grease does not build up on the cooker, especially in the grill pan, as it can easily catch fire.
• Turn the cooker off when not in use.
• Check toasters are clean and placed away from curtains and kitchen rolls.
• Never leave toasters unattended when in use. • Do not put anything metal in the microwave.
• Never run the microwave when empty.
Tumble dryer safety
• Remove the lint from the trap after every load of clothes dried.
• Do not cover the vent or any other opening.
• Ensure the vent pipe is free of kinks and is not crushed in any way.
• Only use vent pipes that are recommended for use with tumble driers, not improvised ones.
• Only vent the warm air to the outside of a building if required.
• Do not put rags or materials into your tumble dryer if they have been used to soak up flammable liquids. Mains Electrical Safety
• Residual Current Devices (RCD’s) can dramatically reduce the chance of electric shocks. (TV Powerdowns / PC Powerdowns may also help reduce the risk) as well as saving energy.
• Find out how old your wiring is, and get the installation checked at least every 10 years and when you move into a new home. How to find a qualified registered electrician There are 4 professional associations electricians can be registered with, they are:
• British Standards Institution • EC Certification trading as ELECSA • NAPIT Registration Ltd • Ascertiva Group Ltd trading as NICEIC
West Midlands Fire Service offer FREE Home Safety Checks. You can receive a visit by your local Fire fighters and get advice and guidance on cooking, electrical safety, night time routines, planning escape routes in case of fire and much more. You may even qualify for a FREE smoke alarm to be fitted. If you or someone you know would like a free Home Safety Check, please ring FREEPHONE 0800 389 5525 to arrange a suitable appointment and quote: “Partnership reference 811”. For any other general enquiries regarding Fire Service activities and Fire Safety advice, please contact: Watch Commander Lee Sketchley or Crew Commander Neil Rooker at Smethwick Fire Station 0121 380 7533.