Electrics are one of the main causes of domestic fires in the UK, and many people accidentally overlook or misuse electric equipment. There are many factors to consider when using electrics, and it is important to implement them as soon as possible in order to make your workplace, home and other site of interest as safe as it can be.
Extension leads and adaptors all have limits as to how many amps it can take, so make sure to not overload them- reducing any risk of a fire. It is far better not to use an extension lead, but some scenarios call for one, so be careful and check the power outage of that particular device and see whether it can be safely linked with other electrical equipment, out of one extension lead.
Check cables are securely fastened to the plug and try to spot any scorch marks around the socket. You should always check for these before plugging an appliance in. Most phone charger leads often fray towards the end as they are constantly in and out of use and are very thin. If they do tether, you should throw them away. Be sure to only use branded leads or chargers, as these are often safety assured, and will give you peace of mind knowing they are less likely to overheat. Same goes for other devices too, such as microwaves, kettles, toasters etc- although you pay more for a big brand, you are often safer and less likely to have any safety issues.
To massively reduce the risk of a fire, you should unplug appliances when you leave the office or go to bed. Unless they are designed to be left on- fridges or freezers, you should always think about unplugging them, or at least not leaving them on standby. If they are unplugged, there is no chance of them sparking, overheating or causing a fire. This is often overlooked and is a very important part of fire safety in the office, as well as at home.
When you buy or purchase an appliance, make sure it has either a British or European safety mark on it. Most electrical devices should come PAT tested- a process where appliances are routinely checked for safety and are deemed good to use. There are some firms that offer PAT testing, and you should make sure any new devices come with a warranty. If not, take it back or contact the supplier and get one.
Never leave devices charging for long periods and ensure you are using the correct chargers. Never put charging devices on top of anything that could easily set alight. Stay with your device and unplug/turn it off when leaving your desk/house. Declutter any surfaces, and bin anything that is unnecessary as it can be a big fire hazard. Desks should be clear, and there shouldn’t be loads of leads running through the office. This is one of the easiest steps to reduce the risk of a fire- binning of waste and charging checks. Allow enough space.
Never take any risks with your safety. If there was a fire in the office or at home, you should get out, stay out and call 999. Never use water on an electrical fire, and only switch off the power if it is safe to do so. Whilst reclaiming any devices and belongings may seem important, it can put your life in danger, and you should take no-risks. Most offices and homes should have the correct fire protection and prevention tools installed such as alarms, lights, fire extinguishers etc, depending on the size of the building. If fire extinguishers, lights, alarms and fire systems haven’t been installed, it is important to look into getting them in your workplace as soon as possible.
It is important to know exactly what to do to limit any potential electrical fires and receive full staff training. This way, all employees can learn what to do if any situation should arise and know how to start limiting any risks they control. We can provide full staff training with a variety of different packages, and we have trained over 2,000 staff.
To find out more about the wide range of services we provide, and how we can help you, please don’t hesistate and get in touch. We’d be delighted to work with you, and design a bespoke package to fit your safety needs. Call us on 01420 476071 or visit wjfire.co.uk/contact/.