Insurers are warning that December is the deadliest month for electrical fires in the home, and have issued advice to people which could help prevent a festive tragedy.
According to figures from America – which are broadly similar to those for the UK – more than half (53 per cent) of house fires are started by some kind of electrical wiring problem, which could be attributed to misuse, incorrect installation, poor maintenance, or overloaded sockets or circuits.
As a result, fire chiefs have issued some seasonal tips to help people stay safe over the holiday period, which include:
- Don't overload electrical circuits, and take particular care over where you plug in additional Christmas lighting
- Keep all surfaces on which electrical appliances rest dry and clean
- Keep children away from room heaters, hot irons and other appliances while they are running
- Don't place any clothes, curtains or other combustible materials within three feet of any heater
- Make electrical sockets child-proof by using readily-available plastic covers, and
- Check for fraying in any electrical wiring, and get any worn power leads replaced immediately, or throw away the appliance.