Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) is reminding homeowners about looking out for warning signs to help prevent electrical fires after attending seven incidents in Medway since the start of the year.
KFRS North Group Manager, Rupert Roberts, said: "It’s really important that everyone makes sure that their electrics are in good working order and are fit for purpose. Fires caused by faulty or malfunctioning wiring can quickly get out of control and can be difficult to deal with as they are often hidden behind walls.
"Look out for warning signs including circuit breakers that trip or fuses that blow repeatedly. If you use extension cords remember they are meant to be temporary and it might be the time to get a competent, qualified electrician to provide a more permanent solution."
The call-outs include:
- A small fire in an electrical cupboard caused by overheating wiring in Greenview Walk, Gillingham on 2 January.
- Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used two hose reels to tackle a blaze in a basement bedroom of a house in Luton Road, Chatham on 17 January. The fire started after clothing fell onto an electric heater.
- Fire crews dealt with a fire in a washing machine on 29 January in Heather Close, Chatham.
- A faulty immersion heater caused damage to wiring and an airing cupboard in a flat in Dock Head Road, Chatham on 8 February.
- A family had to be taken to hospital for precautionary checks after breathing in smoke in Otterham Quay Lane, Upchurch on 9 February. A faulty extractor hood is thought to be to blame after it set wiring alight and ignited surrounding cupboards. The fire caused damaged to almost half of the kitchen and smoke damage to the rest of the property. Crews wearing breathing apparatus used a hose reel, hose reel jet and covering jet to extinguish the fire.
- An overheated tumble dryer sparked a fire in Kingston Crescent, Lordswood on 11 February. No fire-fighting action was required by KFRS as the small fire was out when firefighters arrived, six minutes after receiving the 999 call.
- Fire crews wearing breathing apparatus used two hose reel jets to tackle a fire in the ground floor of a three storey property in Prospect Row, Chatham. The blaze is believed to have started in an electric fuse box in a ground floor utility area. The fire also damaged the gas main. A Red Cross vehicle also attended to provide practical and emotional support to the couple, believed to be in their early 30’s. The resident had noticed the lights had been flickering during the day.
Rupert added: "Take steps to learn how to prevent electrical fires and ensure you have working smoke alarms in your home to help keep your family safe from the threat of fire."