A recent fire caused by an overheated laptop in Hampshire demonstrates the very real danger of electrical goods being mis-used in the home and the office.
In this instance the laptop had been left on charge overnight and it set fire to paper and a placemat and damaged a coffee table. Luckily the smoke alarms in the house were activated and alerted the family who were able to escape without further harm.
In this case the laptop had overheated having been left on to charge overnight and was clealry faulty. Other cases include situations where they are left perhaps on a bed and the ventilation becomes blocked and the appliance overheats.
We would suggest a few important safety tips for home and office to prevent a similar event befalling you.
- When charging electrical items, keep them away from combustible materials, and don’t leave them on charge and unattended.
- Carry out a visual check in your home to ensure your safety and reduce the risk of electrical fires.
- Don’t store combustible materials close to the electrical intake equipment
- An extension lead or adaptor has a limit to how many amps it can take, so do not to overload them. Keep to one plug per socket.
- Check that your electrical products have not been recalled. In the last six years, more than 250 recall notices have been issued for electrical products, mostly due to a risk of electric shock or fire but most recalls only achieving around 10 to 20 per cent success
- Avoid buying counterfeit or substandard goods. They can contain incorrect or faulty parts that overheat risking fire or serious shock.
- Keep electrical appliances clean and in good working order.
- Regularly check for worn cables and wires. Check the cable is fastened securely to the plug and check the socket for scorch marks.
- Switch off appliances at the socket when not in use and when you go out or go to bed, unless they are designed to be left on, like freezers.
- Be aware of what you are charging, where it is and how long it has been on charge.
- Don’t use chargers on surfaces such as bedding and carpets.
- Buy your chargers from a reputable source.
We would be happy to provide advice on the correct PAT testing of appliances especially in an office environment to ensure you keep your employees safe.