Mary backs Electrical Safety Council
Fire safety has been increasing over recent years but we should never be complacent.
The Electrical Safety Council (ESC) recently held a very useful public event at the Metro Centre and when the Commons returns I will be backing a parliamentary motion which highlights fire dangers at home.
We now have more appliances such as microwaves and tumbler dryers, for instance but ESC research shows that a rise in house fires is caused by their misuse.
They tell me that nearly half of these safety blunders is from blocking air vents by failing to clean behind fridges and freezers and one third by using the microwave as an additional surface and blocking air vents. Overloading adaptor sockets accounts for 16% and leaving the tumble dryer running unattended or overnight comes in at nearly 10%
Such fires kill 22 people, seriously injure about 2,500 and cost tens of millions of pounds in damage each year. In the last year alone, there were 14,700 fires of this nature. Most of them are completely avoidable with a little care and attention.
The ESC gives several simple tips to help reduce electrical fires in the home
First, fit a Residual Current Device in the fusebox. This minimises the risk of fire by cutting off the power in the event of a fault.
Second, have a full periodic inspection and test from a registered electrician - you can check this at esc.org.uk
Third, avoid using faulty or damaged electrical appliances, lighting and sockets. If you think there is a fault with your installation or appliance, stop using it immediately and ask a registered electrician or visit esc.org.uk for adviceThey also suggest that people test their current knowledge on their Facebook blunder quiz at www.facebook.com/ElectricalSafetyCouncil and maybe win a trip to Paris.
Better safe than sorry.