Residents urged to be vigilant with electrical appliances after Bank Holiday weekend incidents

FIREFIGHTERS are urging people to be cautious when it comes to electrical devices and to regularly monitor appliances to minimise the risk of house fires, following five incidents over the Bank Holiday weekend.

People are being advised to always keep an eye on chargers after two house fires in two days where devices overheated.

At 9:32am yesterday (Monday, May 27) two fire crews from Eccles and Sale attended a house fire on Cavendish Road, Urmston.

The fire was caused by a laptop charger which overheated on a sofa when left unmonitored. Firefighters used four breathing apparatus, two hose reels and one positive pressure ventilation fan to tackle the fire, and crews were in attendance for two hours and thirty five minutes.

Crews were called to a similar incident on Sunday (May 26) where a vacuum cleaner was left on charge. Three crews from Leigh, Atherton and Eccles attended the fire in White Street, Leigh at 00.36am, and used four breathing apparatus and two hose reels to extinguish the fire and make the scene safe. They were at the scene for two and a half hours.

Fortunately, nobody was hurt at either incident, but both highlight just how dangerous an overheating charger can be when left unattended.

Firefighters are also calling for people to ensure they are being safe with domestic appliances such as tumble dryers and washing machines following three incidents at the weekend.

On Saturday, May 25 three fire engines from Bury and Farnworth responded to reports of a fire involving a kitchen at a domestic property on Belgrave Street, Radcliffe. The cause of the fire was a tumble dryer which was left on and unsupervised. 

The fire crews used four breathing apparatus, two hose reels, one positive pressure ventilation fan and a gas detector to extinguish the fire and ventilate the property.

Fire crews were in attendance for under one hour, with one person being treated by North West Ambulance Service after suffering the effects of smoke inhalation.

The next day (Sunday, May 26) crews from Philips Park and Gorton attended another incident when an unmonitored tumble dryer set alight in Ribble Walk, Droylsden at 9.23pm. Again, the crews used a hose reel and positive pressure ventilation fan to clear the smoke from the property, and were on scene for approximately sixty minutes and one person was treated by North West Ambulance Service.

On Monday (May 27), crews from Wigan, Hindley and Atherton were called to a fire involving a washing machine. Firefighters attended a property on Margaret Street, Wigan at 10.45am and used two breathing apparatus, one hose reel and positive pressure ventilation units to extinguish the fire. They were on the scene for forty minutes.

Damian O’Rourke, Head of Prevention at GMFRS said: “Thankfully, nobody was seriously injured in these incidents but it is a timely reminder of how dangerous electrical appliances can be when left unattended.

“There are many different precautions people can take to minimise the risk of an electrical appliance fire and they need to be monitored regularly.

“Just because there is no flame, does not mean there is no risk of fire.”

To minimise the risk of a fire you should:

  • Switch off appliances at the socket when not in use and when you go out or go to bed, unless they are designed to be left on, like freezers.
  • Be aware of what you are charging, where it is and how long it has been on charge
  • Check you are not overloading plug sockets
  • Do not use chargers or electrical items in areas of the home where they can easily heat up, for example under pillows, under bedding or sofas and cushions.  

Dealing with an electrical fire

If there is an electrical fire, pull the plug out, or switch off the power at the fuse box - if it is safe to do so. Sometimes this can stop the fire immediately.

Never use water on an electrical fire, and don't take any risks with your safety - get out, stay out and call 999.

Find out more on what to check for to ensure your appliances don't put you or your family or housemates at risk from fire by clicking here

28/05/2019 14:23 PM