We are officially at the time of year where the weather is getting colder and as some people continue to work from home, the London Fire Brigade is urging awareness of the increased fire risk when using portable heaters.
Portable heaters are the most common solution to keeping warm, particularly if someone is spending a lot of time in one room and wants to avoid switching on the central heating or performing work needing hot work kits in workshops. Fires caused by portable heaters can have devastating consequences and sadly, they are not an unusual occurrence.
The fire brigade state they have attended more than 1,200 of these types of fires in the last five years. This concern is rising for firefighters as home workers are confined for most of the day to their spare room/office and therefore might be tempted to use heaters more. There have been 160 heating-related fires in London this year, with 26 people suffering injuries as a result.
According to IFSEC Global, ‘fires involving heaters have a high mortality rate and have sadly caused 14 fatal fires in London within the past five years, almost 200 people have suffered injuries from these types of fires since 2017’.
Firefighters’ tips for using portable heaters safely include:
- Make sure they are well maintained and in good working order
- Check that your heater isn’t on a recall list
- Never install, repair or service appliances unless you are a competent professional yourself
- Don’t take risks with old heaters – if it is sparking, wires are loose or if it is showing signs of damage, replace it with a new one or get it tested
- Always sit at least one metre away from a heater as it could set light to your clothes or chair
- Before moving the heater, turn it off and allow to cool first
You can check your home is fire safe using the London Fire Brigade’s new online Home Fire Safety Checker, click here.
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The information contained within this blog is provided solely for general informational and educational purposes and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Before taking any actions based upon this information, we advise the reader to consult any and all relevant statutory or regulatory guidance and where felt necessary to consult a qualified fire or industry regulation professional. The use or reliance on any information contained herein is solely at the reader’s risk.