Chester firefighters have warned of the dangers of electrical heaters after one caused a fire at a house in Chester yesterday (Tuesday May 12).
Two fire engines had to be called to the property on Denbigh Street at 5.20pm.
The blaze affected the ground floor of the property and crews had to use four breathing apparatus and two hose reel jets to extinguish it.
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service have issued the following safety advice about electrical heaters:
- Don't overload plug sockets - An extension lead or adaptor will have a limit to how many amps it can take so, to help reduce the risk of fire, be careful not to overload them. Use the calculator tool (above) to assess whether or not you are overloading an adaptor.
- Regularly check for frayed or worn cables and wires - Check to see if the cable is fastened securely to the plug and check the socket for scorch marks. You should always carry out these checks before you plug an appliance in.
- Unplug appliances when not in use - This helps to reduce the risk of fire. Unplug appliances when you go to bed or when you go out unless they are designed to be left on, like freezers.
- Keep electrical appliances clean and in good working order - Look out for fuses that blow, circuit-breakers that trip for no obvious reason and flickering lights to prevent them triggering a fire.
- Check for British or European safety mark - Make sure an appliance has a British or European safety mark when you buy it.
- Always check that you use the right fuse to prevent overloading - When you're fitting or replacing a fuse, it's important to use the right fuse for the appliance to make sure the cable doesn't overheat and that the appliance is protected in the event of a fault.
- Get Out, Stay Out, Call 999 - Never use water on an electrical fire and don't take any risks with your safety. Pull the plug out or switch the power off if it is safe to do so. Get out, stay out and call 999.
Portable heater safety
- Never leave portable heaters unattended
- Never leave them on whilst sleeping
- Try to secure heaters up against a wall to stop them falling over.
- Keep heaters clear from curtains and furniture and never use them for drying clothes.
- Don't cover air vents on storage heaters or fan heaters
- Ensure that they are positioned well away from anything which could knock them over
- Ensure they are at least a metre away from any combustible materials, such as paper or curtains
- Never buy second hand halogen heaters
- Never power a halogen heater from an extension lead - these can easily be overloaded and cause fires
- Regularly inspect your heater for damage. If it’s damaged - don’t use it
Electric blanket safety
- Unplug blankets before you get into bed, unless it has a thermostat control for safe all-night use.
- When not in use, store blankets flat, rolled-up or loosely folded.
- Don't use a hot water bottle at the same time as using your electric blanket.