Electrical Fire Safety 

Electrical Safety First reminds shoppers that fake electrical items are at risk of exploding, risking serious injury or property damage. One in eight  Welsh consumers have seen fake electrical products for sale near them or online. 95,000 Welsh consumers  have bought a fake electrical item in the last year.

A new investigation carried out by Electrical Safety First reveals that an estimated 298,000 consumers in Wales, almost the equivalent of the population of Cardiff,  have seen fake electrical products for sale near them or online, and 95,000 have knowingly, or by accident, bought a fake electrical item in the last twelve months.
The Charity also found that three in five fake electrical products are bought online , with a third of people experiencing major problems with the product they bought .

This increase can be partly attributed to an increase in the number of fake and substandard chargers available on the market. 1.8 million chargers are bought online each year in the UK by mobile phone owners in search of a bargain. But these chargers are often made with poor quality components that fail to meet UK safety regulations.

Electrical Safety First and South Wales Fire and Rescue Service have produced some simple tips to reduce the risks of electrical fires in the home to help householders keep themselves and their loved ones safe.

Electrical safety advice

Electrical appliances play a big role in our life - from fridges and phones to toasters or the TV, it's hard to think of how we would get by without a few electrically-powered essentials.

Electrical Safety tips

  • Don't overload plug sockets
    An extension lead or adaptor will have a limit to how many amps it can take so, to help reduce the risk of fire, be careful not to overload them. Try to keep to one plug per socket.

    Electrical Safety First has an excellent online tool that can help you assess whether or not you are overloading an adaptor: http://www.twothirtyvolts.org.uk/socket-overload/
  • Regularly check for frayed or worn cables and wires
    Check to see if the cable is fastened securely to the plug and check the socket for scorch marks. You should always carry out these checks before you plug in an appliance.
  • Unplug appliances when not in use
    This helps to reduce the risk of fire. Unplug appliances when you go to bed or when you go out unless they are designed to be left on, like freezers.
  • Keep electrical appliances clean and in good working order
    Look out for fuses that blow, circuit-breakers that trip for no obvious reason and flickering lights to prevent them triggering a fire.
  • Check for British or European safety mark
    Make sure an appliance has a British or European safety mark when you buy it.

  • Always check that you use the right fuse to prevent overloading
    When you're fitting or replacing a fuse, it's important to use the right fuse for the appliance to make sure the cable doesn't overheat and that the appliance is protected in the event of a fault.
  • NEVER use water on an electrical fire. Pull the plug out or switch the power off if it is safe to do so.
  • In the event of a fire - Get out, stay out and call 999.

Portable heater safety

  • Never leave portable heaters unattended
  • Never leave them on whilst sleeping
  • Try to secure heaters up against a wall to stop them falling over.
  • Keep heaters clear from curtains and furniture and never use them for drying clothes.
  • Don't cover air vents on storage heaters or fan heaters
  • Ensure that they are positioned well away from anything which could knock them over
  • Ensure they are at least a metre away from any combustible materials, such as paper or curtains
  • Never buy second hand halogen heaters
  • Never power a halogen heater from an extension lead - these can easily be overloaded and cause fires
  • Regularly inspect your heater for damage. If it’s damaged - don’t use it

Product Recalls

There are potentially millions of recalled electrical items still in UK homes. Remember only 10-20% on recall lists are returned. The unreturned items offer a risk of electric shock or electrical fire and present a serious risk.

Register Your appliance

Unless products are registered, it is very difficult to track them down.

The ‘Register My Appliance’ website makes it easy for you to register all of your electrical products. You will need the brand name, model, serial number and purchase date and the registration process is very simple to follow. The manufacturer will only contact you in the event of a recall, your details will not be used for marketing.

Go to www.registermyappliance.org.uk for more information and to register your electrical products.

Electrical Safety First

For more information on product recalls and electrical safety visit the Electrical Safety First website www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk Electrical Safety First is an independent charity committed to reducing deaths and injuries caused by electrical accidents at home and also in the workplace.


i 12% of Welsh adults said that they had seen counterfeit electrical products for sale near them or online (YouGov)
ii 3.86% of Welsh adults have, either knowingly or by accident, bought a counterfeit electrical product in the last 12 months, based on population of over 18s in Wales of 2,471,198 = 95,388
iii 12.06% of total population of over 18s in Wales (2,471,198) = 298,026
iv 60% of adults in Great Britain (Ipsos Mori)
v 35% of adults who had knowingly or by accident bought counterfeit electrical products in the last 12 months (Ipsos Mori)

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Page Last Updated on 28/11/2016