Every year in the UK, over 100 people die and nearly 1,000 are injured in their homes as a result of fires caused by heating appliances, many involving portable heaters.
Reducing these numbers is the focus of the Electrical Fire Safety Week 2014’s campaign, which this year runs from 10-16 November.
“Research shows that over three quarters of people are worried about being able to afford to heat their homes, and over half will be using portable heaters to keep warm,” says Electrical Safety First, the UK charity behind the campaign.
With Winter approaching and temperatures expected to drop, this will inevitably lead to a greater risk of injury through portable heaters.
“In a recent piece of research,” adds Electrical Safety First, “we highlighted the most common mistakes and found an alarming number of people did not realise that they were putting themselves at risk.”
The most common misconception is that a portable heater can be left on overnight, and there are also many examples of people leaving clothes drying over the heater, obstructing air flow and increasing the risks of fire.
The Electrical Safety Week 2014 campaign offers the following guidance:
– Always follow the manufacturer’s operating and maintenance instructions.
– Turn off portable heaters before going to bed.
– Do not place heaters where they are likely to be knocked over.
– Avoid drying or airing clothes over a heater.
– Keep the heater clean and well maintained.
– Do not place a heater to close to furniture, bedding or curtains.
– Ventilate the room in which the heater is being used.
– Avoid moving a heater when it is switched on.
– Make sure that a permanent safety guard is fitted.
– If a heater is to be used in one place for a long time fix it securely to a floor or wall.
Are your portable heaters safe? Do you have adequate fire safety precautions in place? If you’re a business, you have a responsibility to ensure your staff and customers are protected – contact our trained advisors today for advice and guidance on fire safety equipment including alarms, fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems.