By Eloise Evans on 17/10/2016

Electrical fires are happening more and more across the country. With faulty and dangerous electrical products being purchased online every day, and a lack of knowledge on safe ways to use electrical equipment, we are seeing a massive rise in electrical shocks and fires.

Mr. Electric cares about you, your home and your electrics, so we want to share a few tips with you that will help prevent electrical fires or shocks in your home.

  • Always make sure that you are buying electrical products from official retailers. Many counterfeit products are being sold online and in discount stores and they can be extremely dangerous. Many of these products do not meet the UK and EU safety standards and can cause electric shocks, fires and can even explode. When you buy any electrical items, make sure they display the UK and EU safety standard marks.
  • When you are not using electrical equipment, you should always make sure that you have turned it off at the socket, and if you can, unplug it as well. This should especially be done at night as a fire can spread a lot further before you realise.
  • Always make sure your wiring is in good condition. This should be done every 10 years or when you move home. A Periodic Inspection Report will be able to do this for you, and once it is completed your electrician will provide you with an Electrical Condition Report (EICR). These reports can identify any faulty electrical work, locate any potential electric shock and fire hazards, and find any other potential risks within the whole house wiring.
  • Check your sockets regularly. If you see any burn marks around them or they feel hot then stop using them and get a registered electrician to check them out.
  • If you are using any handheld electrical items, make sure you have unplugged them once you have finished using them. This is especially important when using items that get hot, such as hair curlers and straighteners, which if left on could catch fire to something close to them like curtains or carpets.
  • Check flexible cabled often for signs of fraying, general wear and tear, or a loose plug. If any of your cables show these signs, do not plug them in.
  • If you smell burning but can’t find where it is coming from, call your local Fire and Rescue Service as they will be able to pinpoint exactly where something is overheating using thermal technology.
  • Don’t ever overload any sockets! Always check the voltage of the appliance against the maximum voltage of the socket or extension lead. Read more about how to prevent overloading your sockets in our previous post.
  • Always be exceptionally careful with electric or portable heaters! You should never leave electrical heaters near curtains or furniture, or dry clothes on them as they get extremely hot and can easily catch fire. You should also make sure you never cover air vents on any type of heater as the will also overheat and catch fire.
  • Watch where you leave any trailing cables. You should never trail cables under carpets or rugs. These can eventually overheat and catch fire.
  • Make sure the wattage of the bulb you are using is compatible with the light fitting or lamp you are using. This is something that is quite common and can lead to a fire.
  • Your fuse box should be completely away from everything. You should never leave any combustible materials close to your fuse box as they can catch fire.
  • In the kitchen you should never trail any leads across your cooker, such as kettle or toaster cables. These can easily catch fire as the cooker starts to heat up.
  • Things like towels, oven gloves and kitchen roll should be kept well away from the hob or cooker. These are extremely combustible and could easily catch alight.
  • Always turn the cooker off once you have finished using it!

If you have any questions or you want to have one of our registered electricians look at your electrics for you, contact your local Mr. Electric to book an appointment.