Did you know that electricity is the number one cause of accidental fires in Scottish homes? The human cost is incalculable, while the damage to property runs into tens of millions, not to mention the charges placed on the NHS.
To discover more – and get advice and support to help protect constituents Ruth Maguire, was one of the visitors to a recent drop-in event in Holyrood, run by leading safety charity, Electrical Safety First.
“The figures speak for themselves” explains Ruth Maguire “Every year, 75% of fires in Scottish homes are caused by electricity, mostly by electrical products and over half starting in the kitchen.
“But Electrical Safety First have come up with a number of straightforward tips to help avoid such fires. And they offer several online tools, guides and advice, to help people stay electrically safe at home. The charity also recommends that people register any new electrical products with the manufacturer, as it will ensure that, if the item is recalled, they can be easily and quickly contacted. Given the number of high-profile product recalls that have hit the headlines in recent years, I’d say that’s good advice – and something I plan to make all my constituents aware of.”
It’s a view echoed by Wayne Mackay, Electrical Safety First’s Public Affairs Manager for Scotland. “Electricity is so essential to modern life that we often forget its inherent risk and don’t treat it with the respect it deserves”, adds Wayne. “So we work closely with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to raise awareness of electrical safety – and engage with government to make sure everyone is electrically safe in their home.”
Electrical Safety First led the way in calling for improved electrical safety in the private rented sector and is now calling for a government strategy to help tackle the causes of electrical-related house fires.
Electrical Safety First’s Top 10 Tips to avoid an electrical fire in your home are:
- Always register your electrical products and check for recalls.
- Don’t overload your electrical sockets.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Don’t buy electrical fakes.
- Don’t use electrical products that are damaged.
- Don’t leave washing machines, tumble dryers or dishwashers running when you’re out or asleep.
- Don’t leave portable heaters switched on and unattended.
- Get your electrical installation regularly checked and install RCDs in your fusebox.
- Use a registered electrician rather than relying on YouTube tutorials and doing electrical work yourself.
- Don’t leave cooking unattended (half of house fires start in the kitchen).
For more information on electrical safety – and much more – visit: