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Electrical Fire Safety Week - 24-30 September

By mwill  |  Posted: September 23, 2012

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Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service, the Fire Kills campaign and the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) are working together this week to urge people to make some basic checks in their homes to ensure their family's electrical safety.

Research carried out by the ESC revealed a significant lack of knowledge about the dangers of electricity in UK households, with simple blunders putting homes and families at risk. According to the ESC, last year almost one million people repaired an appliance while it was still plugged in, 12.2 million people knowingly used faulty plugs or sockets and 2 million people trailed cables near hot surfaces or cookers.

People severely misjudge the risks involved with electricity. Around 70 people die and 350,000 are seriously injured each year. Yet, those surveyed by the ESC considered an electrical accident to be an equal risk to being in a plane crash or getting struck by lightning. In reality, on average, only one person in the UK is killed by lightning each year and no one has died in a commercial plane accident in 11 years.

These electrical accidents are often caused by simple things that people could check themselves and rectify for little or no cost. By following a few simple steps, you can help keep you and your loved ones safe from fire:

• Don't overload plug sockets

• Regularly check for worn or frayed wires

• Unplug appliances when not in use

• Keep appliances clean and in good working order

Lorraine Carney, senior campaigns manager for the Electrical Safety Council, said:

"Our free App helps anyone to do a quick visual check on their home by highlighting the potential dangers in each room and explaining how to resolve basic problems in simple, non-technical language. It will also flag more serious issues, for which you should use a registered electrician. It is available for the iPhone and for Android phones - just go to the App Store or Android Market, search for 'Home Electrical Safety Check' and follow the instructions to download."

More information on fire safety is available at http://www.facebook.com/firekills

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