One fire a day caused by electrical gadgets

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Fire chiefs are calling for householders to check electrical appliances as part of a safety awareness campaign.

Firefighters in Herts are called out to a blaze caused by an electrical gadget on average once a day.

And nationally half of all accidental fires are caused by faulty appliances or carelessness with their use.

Chief fire officer Roy Wilsher said: “People commit basic electrical safety mistakes every day, without realising that they are putting themselves, their home and family at risk.

“Many fires caused by the misuse of electrical appliances are preventable.

“However, unless people are educated about what they can do to lower the risks, the numbers of incidents will continue to increase.

“Making a few changes to the way you behave can make all the difference. For example, leaving tumble dryers running unattended or at night may seem harmless but it actually increases the risk of serious fire significantly.

“Similarly, checking that your domestic appliances are in good working order regularly can also help to ensure your safety.”

Householders are advised to check cookers are off after use, to clean ovens regularly to prevent fat build-up and to defrost freezers once a year. Plug sockets should not be overloaded, wiring should be checked for damage, hair straighteners and tongs switched off after use and left away from flammable materials, while electric lights and heaters should not be covered with clothes or material.