Over the past year (in 2013) electrical appliances or electricity were responsible for 599 house fires across Northern Ireland, where sadly 4 people lost their lives.
210 people were injured and 73 people were rescued by Firefighters from these incidents where electricity appeared to be a factor in the cause of the fires.
To prevent the loss of life and utter devastation caused by fire, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service is urging everyone this Electrical Fire Safety Week to avail of its free Home Fire Safety Check.
Dale Ashford, Assistant Chief Fire Officer Community Protection, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service said: “Electrical Fire Safety Week provides a timely reminder for everyone to make sure that our homes are fire safe.
No-one is immune to the danger of fire and fire does not discriminate. It can happen to any one of us and electrical appliances are a staple of modern life.
“By getting a free Home Fire Safety Check and by following some simple steps like ensuring your electrical appliances are fit for purpose and being used in the correct manner, you can help keep your loved ones safe.
“The majority of electrical fires start in the kitchen, so extra care is needed when using cooking appliances and never leave cooking unattended. Simple, common sense tasks, such as unplugging appliances when not in use, not overloading plug sockets and keeping appliances clean and in good working order all help to reduce the risk of fire.
“Make sure you have a working smoke alarm fitted, check it is working this Electrical Fire Safety Week and get into the habit of checking it every week. This life saving device will alert you to the earliest stage of a fire giving you and your family vital time to escape. Also make sure you have a fire escape plan and that everyone in the household knows how to escape safely in the event of a fire.”
To arrange a free Home Fire Safety Check call 028 92600477 or log onto www.nifrs.org. Your local Firefighters will visit your home to offer fire safety advice specific to you and your household. They will check appliances, advise you on fire escape routes and if necessary can fit free smoke alarms.