Firefighters say people should always call the fire and rescue service if there is a strong smell of burning which is unaccounted for.
John Davies, Watch Manager at Oswestry Fire Station, gave the warning after smouldering electrical wires caught fire under floorboards at a Shropshire phone shop.
Two fire appliances attended the incident at the Get Connected mobile phone shop in Willow Street, Oswestry, after they were called following reports of a burning smell.
Firefighters used a thermal imaging camera to locate the fire and Scottish Power also attended to deal with a power fault.
“If anyone has knowledge of strong smells, especially of PVC, they should dial 999 for us to check it out as electric cables can smoulder for a number of hours or days with the potential danger of them causing a serious fire,” said Mr Davies.
“In this case cables ran under the floorboards and a fire had started to burn.”
For advice on home or business fire safety contact Shrewsbury fire HQ on 01743 260200 or visit www.shropshirefire.gov.uk/safety-community/safety-booklet
Electrical fire safety tips include:
• Don't overload plug sockets. All wall sockets have a maximum capacity of 13 AMP’s. High powered appliances such as washing machines/tumble dryers/kettles/toasters should have a single plug socket to themselves.
• Don’t run cables under mats or carpets. Cables/wires under mats or carpets can wear and tear over time and the damage can’t be seen.
• Check for frayed or worn cables and wires. Check to see if the cable is fastened securely to the plug and check the socket for scorch marks. You should always carry out these checks before you plug an appliance in.
• Keep electrical appliances clean and in good working order. Look out for fuses that blow, circuit-breakers that trip for no obvious reason and flickering lights to prevent them triggering a fire.
• Check for British or European safety mark. Make sure an appliance has a British or European safety mark when you buy it.
• Always check that you use the right fuse to prevent overloading. When you're fitting or replacing a fuse, it's important to use the right fuse for the appliance to make sure the cable doesn't overheat and that the appliance is protected in the event of a fault.