1) Check your sockets on a regular basis to see if they feel hot and if there are any burn marks. A registered electrician can check for you to see if they need repairing or replacing.
2) Regularly check the flexible cables on all your appliances for damage, such as fraying and general wear and tear. Then check to see that the cable is fastened securely to the plug. If any appliances show any sign of the above then stop using them until they are repaired. Checks should always be carried out before you plug any appliance into a socket.
3) Do you know how old your wiring is? Electrical Installations should be checked at least every 10 years in a house and when you move into a new home. Look at it as an MOT for your home the same reason you have your car checked. If you live in rented accommodation, the electrical installation and appliances provided are the landlord’s responsibility. You have the right to ask to see a copy of the certificate or report confirming that the installation meets the UK national standard BS 7671 so you know how safe they are.
4) Check the current rating of an electrical adaptor before you plug appliances into one. Always make sure that the total current used by the appliances are not more than the adaptor’s rating.
5) Turn off any electrical appliances like TVs, computers and hairdryers that you are not using, especially at night as this is when a fire can spread quickly and cause more damage. This also helps you save energy and will help reduce your electricity bill.
6) Always take care when using hand-held electrical appliances and switch them off and unplug them when you have finished using them. This is particularly important if you have items that can get very hot like hair straighteners, hairdryers and curling tongs which, if left on can easily cause a fire by being in contact with any flammable material that they are in contact with.
Things You Shouldn’t Do!
1) Don’t use a bulb with a higher wattage than the one printed on the light fitting or lamp shade you are using.
2) Never cover the air vents on fan heaters or storage heaters.
3) Don’t overload electrical adaptors by plugging too many appliances in to one socket especially appliances like kettles, heaters and irons as they have a high electrical current. A registered electricians can install extra sockets for you which would be much safer.
4) Never let flexible cables trail under rugs or carpets.
5) Do not dry clothes on electric heaters or place it near curtains or furniture.
Get A Smoke Alarm!
If a fire starts in your home, a smoke alarm will give you the valuable time you need to escape. Its important to check yours regularly as someone is twice as likely to die in a house fire if your smoke alarm does not work. Speak to your local Fire Brigade as they may be able to install one for you free of charge as part of there free home fire risk check.
Remember that elecricity can kill, so you should always follow advice on electrical safety as it could save your life!