Warning to Shropshire households over incompatible electrical chargers

A Shropshire resident avoided a potentially dangerous house fire, caused by an incompatible charging unit early yesterday morning (Tuesday, 26 January)

On-call crews from Much Wenlock and Tweedale were called to a small kitchen fire after the homeowner was alerted by a smoke alarm in Much Wenlock at 4.34am.

Upon arrival, the fire investigation officer determined the cause to be the result of an incompatible charging device connected to a set of hair clippers.

Whilst the connector fitted the appliance, the charger was for a different electrical device.

The voltage from the charger was too high for the clippers and caused the electrical current to generate excessive heat, melting the charging device and spreading to adjacent items.


Station Commander for North Shropshire Chris White said: “Fires like these can be avoided by ensuring electrical devices are only charged using the charger they are supplied with.

“Many devices these days are portable and use a variety of different charging leads and plugs which may look compatible but could easily contribute to the cause of a fire.

“We may also have new devices around the home because of lockdown such as hair clippers. If this is the case, you should register them online so you will know if there are any safety repairs or recalls.

“If the device is next to a fridge for example, this can quickly escalate into a dangerous situation with highly flammable and toxic materials.  

"Fortunately, the smoke alarm alerted the attention of the homeowner who was able to quickly extinguish the fire before is was able to spread."

If an appliance or cable is hot to the touch, turn off the circuit breaker to the electrical outlet into which the appliance is plugged.

Wait several minutes for the plug to cool before removing it from the electrical outlet. Do not plug the appliance into another outlet. If a loose outlet appears to be the problem that caused the plug to overheat, you may wish to call an electrician to examine the outlet and replace it if necessary.

To register new appliances, click here or visit the website for further electrical safety advice.

26th January, 2021