Electrical fire prompts fire safety reminder

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Electrical fire prompts fire safety reminder

Fire and Emergency is reminding New Zealanders that electrical appliances do have a fire risk and need to be used safely, following an electrical house fire in Chatswood, Auckland earlier this week.

The fire appears to have started from the bathroom fan and spread quickly through the house says Steve Turek, National Manager Community Readiness and Recovery.

"We use electrical appliances, like the stove, bathroom fan, electric blanket or phone charger, every day so it’s easy to forget that they can have a risk of fire," says Steve Turek.

But it does happen, and it can happen to anyone. 

There were more than 1,100 fires which started from an electrical appliance in the past twelve months. These ranged from overloaded multi boards causing appliances to short circuit, having flammable materials too close and leaving cooking unattended on the stove or mechanical / operating failures.

"Minimise the risk of fire by taking precautions when using appliances," says Steve Turek. 

"Turn off appliances when they are not in use - including switching the stove off if you need to walk away from your cooking. Don’t overload multi-plugs - there should be one appliance per socket and keep appliances away from water."

"You should take action if you find wear and tear (i.e. fraying on cords and leads) or notice any issues with your electrical appliances."

"Contact an electrician if you’re worried about the condition of your appliances."

"If you notice anything concerning like smoke or sparks from an appliance, please call 111. We’d rather help you with a small flame, than be putting out a house fire."

 

Fire safety tips

- Make sure your smoke alarms are working - they save lives.

-  Have an escape plan so you and your whanau can get to safety quickly. Make an escape plan at www.escapemyhouse.nz

- Keep flammable materials at least one metre from a heater or potential heat source.

- Turn off appliances when not in use. 

- Don’t leave cooking unattended. 

- Switch the stove off until you get back if you need to walk away. 

- Don't overload multi-boards. At most, plug in one appliance per wall or multi-board socket. 

- Make sure leads and cords are in good condition and not frayed.

- Remove lint from the clothes dryer filter after each use.

- Keep all electrical appliances away from water. 

- If you're worried about the conditions of any appliances (like electric blankets, heaters, air conditioners or fans), have them checked by a qualified electrician.

 

Visit https://fireandemergency.nz/at-home/ for more safety tips.