UK firefighters have warned of the dangers of electrical heaters after a fire at a house in Chester.

The blaze affected the ground floor of the property and crews had to use breathing apparatus and two hose reel jets to extinguish it.

Subsequently, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service issued the following safety advice:

– Don’t overload plug sockets. An extension lead or adaptor will have a limit to how many amps it can take, so to help reduce the risk of fire, be careful not to overload them. 
– Regularly check for frayed or worn cables and wires. Also check to see if cables are fastened securely to the plug and check the socket for scorch marks. Always carry out these checks before plugging in an appliance.
– Unplug appliances when not in use. This helps reduce the risk of fire. Unplug appliances when you go to bed or when you go out unless they are designed to be left on, like freezers.
– Keep electrical appliances clean and in good working order. Look out for fuses that blow, circuit-breakers that trip for no obvious reason and flickering lights, to prevent them triggering a fire.
– Always use the right fuse to prevent overloading. When fitting or replacing a fuse, it’s important to use the right fuse for the appliance to make sure the cable doesn’t overheat and that the appliance is protected in the event of a fault.
– In the event of fire: Get out, stay out and call 999. Never use water on an electrical fire and don’t take any risks with your safety. Pull the plug out or switch the power off if it is safe to do so. Get out, stay out and call 999.

Portable heater safety

– Never leave portable heaters unattended.
– Never leave them on while sleeping.
– Try to fix heaters to a wall to stop them falling over.
– Keep heaters clear of curtains and furniture and never use them for drying clothes.
– Don’t cover air vents on storage heaters or fan heaters.
– Ensure heaters are positioned well away from anything that could knock them over.
– Ensure they are at least a metre away from any combustible materials, such as paper or curtains.
– Never buy second hand halogen heaters.
– Never power a halogen heater from an extension lead – these can easily be overloaded and cause fires.
– Regularly inspect heaters for damage. If it’s damaged – don’t use it.

Electric blanket safety

– Unplug blankets before getting into bed unless it has a thermostat control for safe all-night use.
– When not in use, store blankets flat, rolled-up or loosely folded.
– Don’t use a hot water bottle at the same time as a electric blanket.