Electrical Safety by Henshalls

Posted: 29th December 2015

Gadget fans need to take care

Technology fans have been warned to take extra care when they charge their gadgets as the number of fires caused by electrical faults has soared.

Jenny Osborne, of Henshalls Insurance Brokers in Newport and Shrewsbury, said the number of fire insurance claims had risen by almost 30 per cent in just three years.

“Research has shown that electrical fault fires now account for almost a quarter of overall fire claims, which is a massive leap.

“And the survey revealed that as well as some of the more traditional causes for electrical faults such as tumble dryers and washing machines, fires involving smaller appliances which need chargers such as e-cigarettes and mobile phones were now increasingly common.

“We all have so much more technology in our homes now and it’s vital to make sure you buy electrical goods from reputable suppliers, as well as ensuring any chargers you use are compatible with each device.”

Jenny said homeowners should avoid leaving gadgets charging unsupervised for long periods of time, and should only use official chargers and cables.

“The advice is particularly important in the run-up to Christmas too with all the festive lights in people’s homes, both internal and external, which all increase the dangers.

“Don’t overload sockets or extension cables either, and don’t cover items while they’re charging as they give off heat which could trigger a fire.”

Jenny urged anyone thinking of buying electrical goods as Christmas gifts to make sure they complied with the correct British Standards to reduce the risk of any problems.

“Check that the product has a British or European safety mark on it, and don’t be tempted to purchase an item from anywhere except a trusted supplier, even if it is much cheaper. The chances are there’s a reason why it’s cheaper, and you could well pay the price later for saving just a few pounds.

“Fires in the home are among the most costly insurance claims to handle, because as well as cosmetic repairs, you may also need to fix structural damage – so minimise the risks by taking care with your gadgets and make sure you have the right level of insurance cover in place too.”