Campaign calls to switch on to electrical safety

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Are you playing with fire when it comes to electrical safety?

That’s the question Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council is asking during Electrical Fire Safety Week which runs to November 27th.

According to research carried out by Electrical Safety First, 78% of people were worried about rising energy bills, and over half would use portable heaters as an alternative to keep warm this winter.

The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Alderman Maura Hickey, said many people could be putting themselves and their loved ones at risk: “According to the research, up to 38% of people admitted they would leave a heater switched on and unattended, whilst 21% would leave one switched on overnight. The elderly are particularly vulnerable and we are keen to create more awareness of the dangers and to provide some guidance for heating homes safely. While having a warm home this winter is something everyone deserves, it’s important that the dangers are understood.”

The public should follow the guidance for heating homes safely.

Keep heaters clean and have them serviced regularly.

Ventilate rooms where the heater is to be used.

Ensure a permanent safety guard is fitted. If the heater is to be used in one place, fix it securely to a floor or a wall.

Turn off portable heaters before going to bed at night.

Do not move the heater while it is alight or switched on.

Do not stand or sit too close, your clothing may melt or ignite.

Do not place a heater too close to furniture, bedding, or curtains.

Do not place heaters where they can be knocked over.

Do not operate a heater from where a door could open on to it.

Do not air, or dry clothing on heaters.

Do not leave portable heaters on if young children or pets are left unattended.

Do not use flammable adhesives, cleaning fluids or aerosol sprays near a heater.

Remember that fumes given off from some products are heavier than air and will travel some distance.

As part of Electrical Safety Week, the Council will be encouraging the public to register all electrical appliances through the ‘Register My Appliance’ website.

The registration process is easy to follow - you will need the brand name, model, serial number and purchase date. The manufacturer will only contact you in the event of a recall and your details will not be used for marketing. Go to www.registermyappliance.org.uk for more information.

Should a Landlord provide any electrical equipment as part of the tenancy of a property, they must ensure that it is safe to use. They need to set up a satisfactory test programme for electrical equipment and this can include both visual and full electrical checks. The frequency and type of check will depend on the appliance and how often it is used and a competent electrician/electrical engineer should be able to provide further advice.

Further information on electrical equipment standards is also available on the Council’s website www.causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk .