Safety reminder after overloaded socket leads to fire

Mon 11 May, 2015

Firefighters are urging people to check that they are not overloading plug sockets and adaptors after a fire in Netherfield, Milton Keynes, in the early hours of the morning.

Crews from Bletchley, Broughton and Great Holm were called to an address in Broadlands after a man woke up to find his bedroom filling with smoke.

Watch Commander Chris Montague from Bletchley Fire Station said: “He was charging an e-cigarette and a number of things from a computer which was on in his bedroom, and which was plugged into an overloaded adaptor.

“It is lucky he woke up as there were no working smoke alarms in the house.”

Firefighters put out the fire with a hose reel, ventilated the house with a fan and isolated the utilities

As most people have extension leads in their homes, using adaptors to increase the number of appliances that they can plug into a wall socket, Chris is reminding people to be aware of the following:

  • Although there is space to plug in several appliances, this does not mean it is always safe to do so. Different electrical appliances use different amounts of power.
  • High-current appliances include kettles, hairdryers, irons, dishwashers and heaters. Low-current appliances include televisions, computers, hi-fis and radios.
  • To avoid the risk of overheating and possibly fire, an extension lead or socket should never have appliances that together use more than 13 amps or 3,000 watts of energy plugged into it.
  • Click here for an easy-to-use online overload calculator, devised by the charity Electrical Safety First, which shows you how to avoid overloading your sockets.