Winter is coming and with over half of all domestic fires arising from electrical appliances, and older people disproportionately affected by fires at home, the focus must be on improving electrical safety.
That’s why Tom Brake MP is backing Electrical Safety First’s ‘Safer Over 65 campaign’. The charity is working with MPs to encourage constituents to check on the electrical safety of older family members’, or neighbours’ devices, and has developed a range of tools and guides to help keep them safe in their home.
Carshalton & Wallington MP Tom Brake said:
"Many older people worry about winter heating bills, often using portable heaters and electric blankets to cut costs, but these appliances have caused a number of house fires, mainly through misuse.
"We must spread the word about electrical safety checks and heater safety to ensure older people stay warm and safe this winter."
Most electrical fires are caused by simple mistakes that can be easily avoided. The Charity’s top tips for using portable heaters safely are given below, but for more detailed help, including an app which allows people to do a rapid visual electrical safety check of a home, plus a range of safety guides visit: www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/olderpeople
Portable Heater Safety Tips:
- Place the heater on a level surface, well away from anything that could knock it over.
- Make sure the heater is at least a metre away from combustible materials, such as paper, furniture or curtains. Never use it to dry clothes!
- Never leave a heater unattended when in use, or while sleeping.
- Never power a heater from an extension lead - they can easily be overloaded and cause fires and trailing leads can cause slips and trips.
- Make sure heaters are regularly inspected for damage and deterioration. If it isn’t in good condition, do not use it.
- Avoid second-hand heaters. Buy from recognised and reputable manufacturers and retailers.