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11 November 2014 - Make sure your family are plugged in safely

Make sure your family are plugged in safely

Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) is using Electrical Fire Safety Week (10-16 November 2014), to highlight the importance of making sure your family are plugged in safely and that they get switched on to switching off.

Station Manager, Mark Woodward, said: "These types of fires are one of the biggest causes of accidental fires in the home and have the potential for deadly consequences. No-one is immune to the danger of fire – it can happen to anyone and over the last couple of weeks, KFRS has attended a number of fires involving electrical appliances.”

These include:

  • Four fire engines were sent to Warwick Park, Tunbridge Wells at 6.40am this morning, (11 November) after the residents were woken by their smoke alarms sounding. The fire is believed to have been sparked by the electrical supply to the boiler. Crews tackled a well-developed fire in the roof and wall voids of the three-storey detached property. They used hose reel jets to tackle the blaze, along with a covering jet and a 10m ladder to access higher floors.
  • An electrical fault in a fridge/freezer is thought to have sparked a fire in a basement flat in Tonbridge Road, Maidstone on Sunday evening, (9 November). Earlier the same day a cat and three kittens had to be rescued after a fire broke out under kitchen worktop units in Tennison Way, Maidstone.
  • Crews made the scene safe after a dishwasher caught alight in Eastwell Close, Paddock Wood at around 9.15pm (7 November). A young woman was treated by paramedics believed to be suffering from shock and for the effects of breathing in smoke.
  • A fault sparked a small fire in an external light fitting in Culverden Avenue, Tunbridge Wells at 10.30pm (4 November). Crews made the scene safe and gave fire safety advice to the residents.
  • A faulty extractor fan is being blamed for a fire in a third floor Tonbridge flat on Friday, (24 October), which resulted in a lady in her early 90’s being taken to hospital suffering from slight smoke inhalation. Neighbouring flats were also evacuated. Crews in breathing apparatus used two hose reels to put out the small fire, which started just after 7pm. They left the scene at around 8.45pm.
  • Two people were given oxygen therapy after attempting to smother a fire using a wet duvet in London Road, Southborough on (18 October). The fire started in the wiring of a TV and spread to clothing. Fortunately, working smoke detectors raised the alarm and crews in breathing apparatus used a hose reel to tackle the fire, a thermal imaging camera to check for hotspots, while a special fan was used to clear smoke from the flat.

Mark added: “The risk of fire in the home is a year-round issue, but people are particularly vulnerable at this time of year as we begin to use more electrical products, such as tumble dryers and portable heaters.

“As we’ve seen by these incidents, fires can break out in electrical appliances and power outlets with very little warning. Make sure you switch them off after use and never leave them running over night or when you leave your home. Head to our website to use our electrical socket calculator to see how easy it is to overload sockets and to get useful tips to avoid the risk of overheating and fire. It’s also vital to fit working smoke alarms in your home and test them regularly, to provide the early warning to a fire.”

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