As part of the Electrical Fire Safety Week this week, December 4 to 10, Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) is again warning people not to let electrical failures set their world ablaze. 

Electrical Fire Safety Week is a chance to remind people to be vigilant at all times, especially when buying online, and going for cheap smart tech. 

From faulty fridges and irons left unattended, to dodgy plugs and wring, electrical equipment can be unnoticed fire hazards in the home. Dangerous electrical product recalls remain vital safety factors. 

This year, the fire service are urging people to consider more than just the price when choosing a portable heater for the winter. 

The continuing rise in the cot of living may make small, inexpensive space heaters look a practical and efficient way to heat a room. There are numerous products available, which start at just over £10, but saving a few pounds on unsuitable appliance could prove extremely costly.

According to the charity, Electrical Safety First, with electrical faults and accidents causing more than half of all house fires in England annually, adults frequently ignore an electrical recall notice, citing inconvenience, an unwillingness to go without a “luxury” product and underestimating the risk of continuing to use the product. 

The charity also knows people are reluctant to register products, as people do not know how to do it, do not realise the importance of registration, fail to ‘get around to it’ and do not want to hand over their personal data in case it is used for marketing purposes.

HWFRS Head of Prevention, Emma Roberts, said: “Electrical equipment is an inescapable part of all of our lives, from essentials like heating and lights to luxuries like entertainment systems or beauty products. 

“Numerous accidental fires begin with an electrical appliance, so it’s really important to be sure that your electrics are in top-notch condition and used properly. 

“This year, I’d urge people not to go for low cost portable heaters, putting price above safety.”

HWFRS have provided the following tips to stay safe:

-Don’t overload plug sockets

-Regularly check for worn or frayed wires

-Keep appliances clean and in good working order 

-Unplug appliance when not in use

-Never leaver portable heaters unattended

-Never leave them on while sleeping

-Ensure they are at least a metre away from any combustible materials, such as paper or curtains

-Ensure they are kept well away from anything which could knock them over

-Regularly inspect your heater for damage. If it’s damaged, don’t use it

Emma added: “If you’re buying online, make sure you buy from a trusted retailer, either direct from the manufactures website or a well-known high street name. That waif something goes wrong, you can return the product for repair or refund. 

“Shoppers can also check a product’s status at Electrical Safety First’s free ‘Check It Out’ site, identifying third party sellers on popular online retailers and helping make an informed buying decision. 

“Remember, if a bargain seems to good to be true, it probably is.”