Electric warning from fire crews

Louise Anderson and Brian Ryder of Cleveland Fire Brigade  with shoppers Joan Coxon and Harry Soulsby during the drop-in event at Middleton Grange Shopping Centre.

Louise Anderson and Brian Ryder of Cleveland Fire Brigade with shoppers Joan Coxon and Harry Soulsby during the drop-in event at Middleton Grange Shopping Centre.

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FIREFIGHTERS issued important safety advice about the dangers of home electrical gadgets at an awareness event.

Cleveland Fire Brigade urged shoppers to treat electricity with care at a drop-in event in Hartlepool’s Middleton Grange Shopping Centre.

Officers starkly warned if they do not it could cost you your home or even your life.

The brigade held a series of events to raise awareness of the potential dangers in the home during Electrical Fire Safety Week.

Phil Lancaster, the brigade’s director of community protection, said: “Millions of people across the UK expose themselves to potentially fatal accidents at home, particularly in the kitchen, because they don’t understand the dangers of electricity. Please don’t be one of them.

“Who would have thought tumble dryers could be the cause of devastation, but with the colder temperatures creeping in and their increased use, if they are not regularly cleaned out, the excess fluff builds up and can catch fire, which is something we often come across at this time of year.

“I would urge all residents to follow some simple checks to help keep you, your family and your home safe.”

The brigade says half of all accidental house fires in the UK last year, around 20,000, were caused by faulty or misused electrical equipment.

Across Cleveland more than 50 house fires and one death was down to electrical accidents.

The brigade has also been offering free safety checks on electrical items at the drop-in sessions.

Key electrical safety tips include:

l Unplug all appliances when not in use like laptops, phone chargers, hair straighteners

l Check regularly for frayed or worn cables

l Keep electrical equipment clean and in working order

l Ensure tumble dryers and washing machines are cleaned and maintained

l Don’t overload plug sockets

l Look after your electrical blankets.

l Always use the right fuse to prevent overloading

For more information about how to stay safe visit www.clevelandfire.gov.uk/electrical or find them on Facebook or Twitter @ClevelandFB.