Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Promotes Electrical Fire Safety Week
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is encouraging the public to support ‘Electrical Fire Safety Week’ which runs from Monday 21 to Sunday 27 November to promote electrical fire safety in the home.
According to research carried out by Electrical Safety First, people are ‘playing with fire’ in their efforts to find cheaper heating options this winter and many are unaware of the dangers that the alternatives can pose. Electrical Safety First’s research found that 78% of people were worried about the rising costs of energy bills, and over half would use portable heaters as an alternative to keep warm. One of the main issues is the use and potential misuse of portable heaters and if not used carefully, they have the potential to start a fire.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Chairperson, Councillor Gillian Fitzpatrick said, “Many people could be putting themselves and their loved ones at risk by using portable heaters incorrectly. According to the research provided, up to 38% of people admitted that they would leave a heater switched on and unattended, whilst 21% would leave one switched on overnight. The elderly are particularly vulnerable and we are keen to create more awareness of the dangers and to provide some advice and guidance for heating homes safely.”
The manufacturer’s operating and maintenance instructions must be adhered to. Portable heaters should be kept clean and following a period of storage, you should look out for changes or signs of wear and tear. In rooms where the heater will be used, there should be ventilation and a safety guard should be fitted. If the heater is to be used in one place, it should be fixed securely to a floor or a wall. Portable heaters must be turned off before going to bed at night to reduce the potential for fire.
A heater must not be placed too close to furniture, bedding or curtains as this is a potential fire risk. Do not place heaters where they can be knocked over, or place them where a door could open on to it as this will compromise the safety of the heater. Clothes should never be aired or hung to dry on portable heaters.
Councillor Gillian Fitzpatrick explains, “As part of Electrical Safety Week, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council encourages the public to register all electrical appliances. The ‘Register My Appliance’ website makes it easy to register all of your appliances. You will need the brand name, model, serial number and purchase date and the registration process is very simple to follow. The manufacturer will only contact you in the event of a recall. Go to registermyappliance.org.uk for more information and to register.