Electrical fires how to avoid electrical fires in your home

To minimise the risk of an electrical fire:

  • Make sure the electrical appliance has a British or European safety mark when you buy it.
  • Always follow instructions provided by the manufacturer carefully.

Check and unplug…

  • Regularly check your electrical appliances for signs of damage, loose wiring and overheating.
  • Switch off and unplug all electrical appliances not designed to be left on when not in use.
  • If you have an electric blanket, make sure you get it serviced regularly and check for danger signs such as frayed fabrics, a worn flex and scorch marks. Unplug it when you go to bed, unless you are completely sure that it is the type that can be left on overnight.

Extension sockets

Be careful to not overload sockets. Overloaded sockets can be a fire hazard. It is important to remember that appliances use different amounts of power so consider what you are plugging in and the limit of your extension socket.

Many people use extension leads and adaptors to increase the number of appliances they can plug into a socket. However, it may not always be safe to do so. Use the Electrical Safety First socket overload calculator to check if you are exceeding the maximum load and putting your home at risk of fire.

The Socket Calculator has been brought to you by Electrical Safety First.

Chargers and e-cigarettes

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service have put together the following advice to help avoid electrical fires when using chargers and e-cigarettes:

  • Only buy manufacturer approved chargers for your products.
  • Avoid purchasing replica chargers for your mobile phone or tablet as they may be faulty or unsafe.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Do not charge your device when you are sleeping.
  • Switch off at the socket and unplug once you have finished charging.
  • Keep all chargers clear of fabrics or anything that could cover them.
  • Do not have your charging device on your bed while you sleep.


  • Always use a compatible charger and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer carefully
  • Do not over tighten the atomiser when connecting an e-cigarette to the charger.
  • Make sure that e-cigarettes are not left charging for long periods of time. Remove the battery when charged to prevent overcharging.
  • Never leave e-cigarettes plugged in overnight or when you are out of the house.



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