Home working may create additional fire risks


    Despite the slight easing of the lockdown measures this week, many people will continue to work from home for some time yet – and for some it may even become a permanent arrangement. However, many may be putting themselves at unnecessary risk due to unsafe electrical setups and practices, a charity is warning.

    Research conducted by consumer safety charity Electrical Safety First has looked into the dangers to which remote workers may be unknowingly subjecting themselves.

    With increased use of electrical equipment in many homes such as work laptops, tablets, phones and – with the unseasonably cold weather right now - heaters, the survey found that more than two thirds of those currently working from home are using extension leads or adaptors with the electronic device they’re working on and 38 per cent of them have more appliances plugged into one socket than they usually would.

    More than 1 in 3 are either unaware of the risks of overloading plug sockets or how to check whether they’re doing so. By using extension leads and adaptors to plug additional devices into a socket, there is a danger that they could be overloaded and create a fire risk.

    Worryingly, 44 per cent of those currently working from home and using extension leads or adapters as part of their setup admitted to ‘daisy-chaining’ them together, that is plugging one extension into another in order to reach further or plug more appliances in; a practice advised against in all circumstances.

    Electrical Safety First is recommending those working from home take advantage of the charity’s Socket Overload Calculator to check they’re not plugging too many appliances in at once, and to pay extra attention to their electrical safety during their period of remote working.

    More than half of those surveyed either often or sometimes placed an electrical item such as a laptop or phone on their bed whilst it is charging as part of their work-from-home setup. This can also create a fire risk due to the potential of the item overheating. Electrical items should only ever be left on hard, non-flammable surfaces unless switched off and not charging.

    If a fire does occur as a result of the lithium-ion batteries in your laptop, tablet, or phone overheating, you need to ensure that you have the right fire extinguisher to tackle it. The Firechief Lith-Ex Extinguisher is compact, lightweight, easy to store, non-toxic and environmentally friendly. It will extinguish uncontrollable flames, quickly cool the excessive heat, and prevent re-ignition, something that an ABC powder extinguisher or other liquid-based extinguishers will not be able to do on a Lithium-ion battery fire.

    The Firechief range of UK approved fire safety products also includes high performance fire extinguishers, fire blankets, first aid kits, and Firechief CAVIUS Alarms. Here is a list of recommended fire safety products for your home.

    For more information on our fire safety products visit www.firechiefglobal.com
    To speak to our team, call: 0330 999 0019

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