Fire service offer advice following electrical fires

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AFTER figures revealed that three people died and 159 people were injured as a result of electrical related fires in the region in the last year, Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service has highlighted the need for people to think more about their own safety.

In the year April 1 2011 to March 31 2012, there were 701 fires in residential properties in Lothian and Borders due to faults, misuse or carelessness with electrical devices.

Community Safety Group Commander Mike Jaffray explained: “The fact that there were three fatalities last year as a result of electrical related fires is tragic and we want to get the safety message into people’s minds to try to prevent any further tragedies from happening.

“Crews were out across the Lothians and Borders throughout May distributing our new electrical safety information flier to residents and highlighting key safety messages.”

He advised: “Firstly reduce the risk of an electrical fire by unplugging non-essential electrical items such as televisions, hair styling equipment, games consoles and lamps when they’re not being used. Don’t switch on appliances like washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers when you are out or off to bed.

“Electric heaters cause a lot of fires and injuries, either by being left on unattended, or by carelessness leaving things too close to them.

“Cooking related fires can also be counted under the misuse of an electrical appliance, such as microwaves and electric cookers sparking a fire.

“Use one plug for each electrical socket and avoid overloading adapters. Appliances connected to adaptors should never use more than 13 amps of electricity. Don’t run cables under carpets and never try and rejoin cables with insulating tape – replace the whole cable.

“Fuses are safety devices designed to ‘blow’ if there is a fault in an appliance or electricity supply. If you fit the wrong fuse it may increase the likelihood of a fire.”