The Chief Fire Officers’ Association is using UK Home Safety Week to highlight the risk of fire from home appliances.
The campaign – running from 26 September until 2 October – is being supported by the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances (AMDEA), which runs the website www.registermyappliance.org.uk
Vikki Thomas, acting Safe and Well Manager at Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Everyone should take a few minutes to register their domestic appliances, as this helps to reduce the risk of fires and provides peace of mind. The system gives manufacturers an accurate record of who owns particular makes and models so, in the event of a safety alert or product recall, they can ensure that the right information reaches the right people in good time.”
She added: “Nationally, the Fire and Rescue Service has seen far too many fires involving appliances that have been subject to a safety alert or product recall but the owner has been completely unaware of the danger. This scheme can only help to prevent such fires happening in the future.”
Other advice from the Fire and Rescue Service around the safe use of electrical appliances includes:
· Make sure appliances have a British or European safety mark when bought.
· Keep electrical leads and appliances away from water.
· Remember – one plug per socket. If you need more plugs than there are sockets, use a bar-type fuse adaptor.
· Unplug appliances at night or when you’re not using them to reduce the risk of fire – unless they are designed to be left on all the time (for example, a fridge or freezer).
· Keep electrical appliances clean and in good working order.
Another fire risk in the home involves chargers for mobile phones and other items, such as laptops, e-cigarettes and anything with a rechargeable battery.
Ms Thomas said: “A real issue can be the use of fake or unofficial chargers – these are often made with poor quality components that fail to meet UK safety regulations, which means they can catch fire.”
Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service offers free Safe and Well home visits, which can include the provision of smoke alarms where appropriate. To request a visit, call 0800 038 2323.
A wide range of home fire safety advice can be found at www.dwfire.org.uk/safety-at-home