Householders are being strongly urged to register electrical appliances by fire safety experts.
Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service says people who register new and old appliances with the relevant manufacturer will greatly reduce the risk of a fire in their home.
The warning comes as part of Electrical Safety Week, a national campaign aimed at reducing the number of domestic fires caused by faulty and mis-used electrical appliances and fittings.
Across England there were a total of 18,375 electrical fires in 2015-16, causing 2,448 fatalities and injuries. That’s an average of 47 each week and seven a day.
As part of the week long campaign which runs from 21st – 27th November, members of Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service’s Prevention Team will be manning an information stand at the Tesco Extra store in Shrewsbury on Nov 27th from 10am to 12.30pm.
They will offer the public with guidance and advice on a range of electrical safety issues, with a particular focus on registering electrical appliances, smoke alarms and escape plans. Visitors to the stand can take part in a quiz and a chance to win a £20 shopping voucher.
According to figures released as part of the campaign, thousands of consumers are still missing out on product safety warnings because they are not registering their fridges, freezers, toasters and washing machines.
“There are more than 100 million large appliances in use in our homes and we keep them a very long time, but less than a quarter (23%) of consumers always register their appliances. This leaves the vast majority untraceable if a safety action or product recall is issued,” a fire service spokesperson said.
Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service is urging consumers to register new and used appliances by logging onto the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances (AMDEA) website - www.registermyappliance.org.uk - where they will find registration pages for 62 leading brands.
SFRS’s Prevention Manager, Rabinder Dhami, said the public should register all their appliances, including the older ones. “Everyone should put registering appliances at the top of their to-do list. Most manufacturers offer registration of older large white goods. You can check whether you can still register an older appliance by visiting the registration website. Registering an appliance could save your life or your family’s lives,” he said.
The www.registermyappliance.org.uk portal also provides valuable advice on correct maintenance, safe usage and installation, product standards and testing, guarantees and warranties, consumer rights, a product recall listing and the AMDEA Code of Practice on Product Safety.
The Prevention Team also offers the following safety tips:
- Check that your electrical products have not been recalled
Go to www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/recall.
- Carry out a visual check of your electrics
It is often the simple things that people could check that lead to a serious fire – such as an appliance lead near a hot surface or an overloaded socket.
- Keep combustible materials away from sources of heat
Encourage householders not to store combustible materials close to their electrical intake equipment (service head meter and/or consumer unit) in their homes. The warning is particularly appropriate where, for example, the electrical intake equipment is in a cupboard which is used to store items such as coats, cleaning materials and other things that can ignite easily.
- Don’t overload plug sockets
An extension lead or adaptor will have a limit to how many amps it can take so, to help reduce the risk of fire, be careful not to overload them. Try to keep to one plug per socket.
- Regularly 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 use an appliance.
- Switch off appliances at the socket when not in use
This helps to reduce the risk of fire. Switch off appliances when you go to bed or when you go out unless they are designed to be left on, like freezers.
- Buy your electrical chargers from a reputable source
Many imported chargers do not satisfy UK safety regulations and can cause serious electric shock, injury or fire