Fire Safety Week: Wednesday - Preventing fires through appliances

Posted: 14/06/2017

Throughout this week we have been sharing important fire safety information with customers, as part of Fire Safety Week, online and at events in the community. Today we are looking at preventing fires through appliances in your home, from electric blankets to candles there are steps you can take to prevent fire spreading.

  • Always check that you use the right fuse to prevent overheating
  • Make sure electrical appliances have a British or European safety mark when you buy them
  • Try and keep to one plug per socket. Certain appliances, such as washing machines, should have a single plug to themselves, as they are high powered
  • An extension lead or adaptor will have a limit to how many amps it can take. So be careful not to overload them to reduce the risk of a fire
  • Appliances use different amounts of power. A television may use a 3 amp plug and a vacuum cleaner a 5 amp plug
  • Keep electrical appliances clean and in good working order to prevent them triggering a fire
  • Check for signs of dangerous or loose wiring such as scorch marks, hot plugs and sockets, fuses that blow or circuit breakers that trip for no obvious reason, or flickering lamps/lights
  • Check and replace any old cables and leads, especially if they are hidden from view, behind furniture or under carpets and mats
  • Unplug appliances when you are not using them or when you go to bed at night, it helps to reduce the risk of fire

Using electric blankets

  • Don’t leave electric blankets folded as this damages the internal wiring. Store them flat or rolled up instead
  • Unplug blankets before you get into bed, unless it has a thermostat control for safe all-night use
  • Try not to buy second hand blankets and check regularly for wear and tear

Portable heaters

  • Try to secure heaters against a wall to stop them falling over
  • Keep them clear from flammable materials such as curtains and furniture and never use them for drying clothes


  • Make sure candles are secured in a proper holderand away from materials that may catch fire like curtains
  • Put candles out when you leave the room and make sure they are put out completely at night
  • Use a snuffer or a spoon to put out candles, it’s safer than blowing them out as sparks can fly
  • Children should never be left alone with candles Always ensure furniture has the fire-resistant permanent label

Cigarettes, matches and lighters

  • Stub cigarettes out properly and dispose of them carefully
  • Never smoke in bed
  • Use a proper ashtray, never a waste paper basket/bin
  • Make sure your ashtray can’t tip over and is made of a material that won’t burn
  • Don’t leave a lit cigarette, cigar or pipe lying around. They can easily fall over and start a fire
  • Take extra care if you smoke when you’re tired, taking prescription drugs or if you’ve been drinking. You might fall asleep and set something on fire
  • Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children and consider buying child-resistant lighters and match boxes