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Garage fire prompts safety warning about the use of electrical cables

Borough: Manchester

Incident Date: 19 March 2018

FIREFIGHTERS have issued a safety warning about the use of electrical cables after Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) spend almost four hours tackling a blaze in a domestic garage.

Crews from Philips Park, Manchester Central and Ashton fire stations were called to reports of a fire at a house on Ansell Close in Gorton at 4.55am on Saturday, March 17.

On attendance a garage adjoining a semi-detached house was well alight and firefighters used two hoses and four breathing apparatus to extinguish the flames.

After the fire had been extinguished, GMFRS conducted thermal checks using specialist equipment on the garage which was being used for storage.

Crews discovered a hole in the wall where an electric cable had been run from the house to access the mains electricity supply.

Thermal checks identified heat from a cable which had become faulty and which was also sparking. The hole into the garage itself had been packed with insulation and firefighters had to enlarge it to expose the heat source after first isolating the electrical supply.

Only after crews were able to significantly reduce the temperature of the cable and its immediate surrounding area were GMFRS able to leave the scene.

Paul Etches, Head of Prevention at GMFRS, said: “Fires in the home can be caused by faulty electrical appliances, while plugs and cables that are old or poorly wired can also be a real danger.

“Just because there's no flame doesn't mean there's no fire risk. If there is an electrical fire we advise you pull out the plug or switch off the power at the fuse box, but only if it is safe to do so. On occasion this immediately succeeds in stopping the fire.

“And never, ever use water on an electrical fire. Do not take any risks with your safety – if there are flames get out, stay out and immediately call us on 999.”

Find out what to check for to ensure your appliances don't put you or your family or housemates at risk from fire.

The risks with cables and leads include:

  • Getting frayed and damaged - make sure the outer covering of all power leads is in good condition and replace if necessary
  • Being badly positioned  - they shouldn't be anywhere that they could be tripped over, or near water, cookers or other sources of heat
  • Running them under rugs or carpets where they can wear through without anyone noticing - position them elsewhere

Plugs, sockets and cables also need to be used correctly, you should:

  • Make sure you can't see any coloured wires between the plug and the power lead - change the plug properly
  • Make sure the wires are held firmly in place inside the plug
  • Use sockets safely - it's better to use a bar adaptor (multi board) on a lead than a block adaptor
  • Only use one adaptor per socket - don't plug one adaptor into another and try to keep to one plug per socket

Further fire safety advice can be viewed on the GMFRS website.

Last update: 19/03/2018 15:34:45
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