Fire chief sends warning this Christmas after 83 electrical house fires in Norfolk

A joint warning has been issued from Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service and Norfolk County Council's Trading Standards.

A joint warning has been issued from Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service and Norfolk County Council's Trading Standards after 83 house fires in Norfolk this year. - Credit: Norfolk County Council

A fire chief has warned people to be careful when purchasing electrical items this Christmas following 83 house fires in Norfolk this year. 

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service and Norfolk County Council's Trading Standards have issued a joint warning to use caution about where electrical goods are bought.

Greg Preston, head of fire prevention at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: “By buying cheap, inferior quality products, people are unwittingly putting their life at risk. These items are more likely to contain unsafe parts and cause accidental fires in the home.

“We also ask that residents don’t charge mobile phones or tablets on beds or sofas, or leave them charging overnight. And that plug sockets in the home are not overloaded.”

This year, 26 house fires in Norfolk were caused by a fault in electrical equipment, with a further 21 caused by appliances being misused.

An additional 36 fires were caused by faulty leads and cables to electrical appliances, such as televisions, toasters, computers, microwaves, portable heaters and battery chargers, as well as larger items such as washing machines, tumble dryers and cookers. 

Electrical Fire Safety Week is set to begin on Monday, November 22, which focuses on encouraging people to purchase electrical items from reputable retailers. 

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According to figures from YouGov Plc, via Electrical Safety First, it was found that 23pc of adults in the East Of England said they would knowingly purchase a counterfeit electrical item. These counterfeit electrical products are more likely to contain sub-standard parts that could cause a fire or an electric shock.

The most popular electrical choices to gift include:

  • Electrical beauty products (e.g. hair straighteners, beard trimmers etc.) – 33pc
  • Games consoles and accessories – 30pc
  • Smart technology – 30pc
  • Mobile devices (e.g. tablets, laptops etc.) – 30pc
  • Small cooking appliances (e.g. Nutribullets, slow cookers etc.) – 25pc
  • Luxury household items (TVs, audio equipment etc.) – 17pc
  • Electric bike or scooter – 10pc
  • White goods – 10pc

Duncan Carter, Lead Trading Standards Officer at NCC, said: “We want Norfolk residents to be as safe as possible, particularly as Black Friday approaches and there are many tempting deals. Electrical items that are poorly manufactured and don’t meet safety standards are sadly still available to purchase. Please only buy from reputable retailers and ensure you register your appliances to be notified of recalls.”

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