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Electrical Fire Safety Week 2021

Electrical Fire Safety Week 2021

Reduce the risk of undetected electrical fires developing in your home

On average there are 11 electrical fires in the home every day in England – Electrical Fire Safety Week 2021 runs between 22 and 28 November.

Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service has attended two incidents involving electrical household items catching fire during Electrical Fire Safety Week 2021. This has prompted a safety message to help others reduce the risk of undetected electrical fires breaking out in their homes.

Firefighters from High Wycombe and Beaconsfield were called to Crown Lane Marlow, at 5.11pm on Monday (22 November), after a smell of burning was detected coming from a washing machine.

Just eight minutes later, crews responded to a call to a fridge on fire, this time located in a garage which was attached to a house in Wyndham Avenue, High Wycombe.

Joanne Cook, Community Safety and Safeguarding Manager, said: “These incidents were unrelated, however both occurred during the daytime where they could be quickly detected and the fire and rescue service called.

“Although fires originating from electrical appliances in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes are in line with the national average, the number of daytime incidents peak between 4pm and 5pm when a greater number of household appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers, are in use.

“However we are also aware that sometimes people set these sort of electrical appliances to operate overnight, or leave them on while they are out. If an incident occurs in these situations, it can take longer to be noticed, and in the worst cases the effects can be devastating for residents and homeowners.

“When we looked at our incident data for fires involving electrical items where the fire has spread beyond the appliance, the most common time period was between 10pm and midnight, possibly where people have set their household appliances to operate and then gone to bed.”

To reduce the risk of an electrical fire developing undetected in your property we recommend:

  • Only using washing machines, tumble driers and dishwashers during the day when someone is at home.
  • Turning electrical appliances off at the wall when they are not in use.
  • Keeping ventilation grills clear.
  • Registering electrical appliances to ensure you are notified of product faults or recalls. This can be done regardless of whether the appliance has been purchased new or second hand.

Joanne added: “While these steps reduce the risk of a fire occurring, working smoke detection provides a quick alert to when something has gone wrong. If a fire is occurring, close the door on the room it is in, exit the property and call 999.”

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