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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Phone Charger Causes House Fire

09/05/2011

A family have had a lucky escape from a house fire yesterday after a mobile phone charger overheated and set fire to nearby clothing at around 3.30pm.

“Chargers should never be left plugged in and turned on when they are not in use; they should be switched off at the plug and only turned on when they are needed.”

Station Manager Paul Richins.

A passer-by saw flames at the window of the Princess Street property in Burton and alerted emergency services. Two crews from Burton, one crew from Tutbury and the aerial ladder platform from Burton were called to the incident, which involved a second floor converted attic room.

All occupants were outside on arrival however had it not been for the passer-by they could have remained oblivious as their smoke detectors did not work and they didn’t have a smoke detector fitted in the attic room.

Station Manager, Paul Richins said: “These people are incredibly lucky that they got out of the house safely. The attic room was being used as a bedroom however had no smoke detectors fitted at all and it also appears that detectors on lower levels of the house were not working. It is essential that smoke alarms are tested weekly to ensure they are working, otherwise they are useless, and detectors should be fitted on all levels of the home.

“The room has been severely damaged by the fire after a mobile phone charger over-heated due to being left plugged in and constantly turned on. Clothing had been left nearby which quickly caught fire and then spread around the room.

“The rest of the property has been smoke damaged and firefighters had to go into neighbouring properties to ventilate their roof spaces as well. We would urge people to only have their chargers turned on when they are charging their mobile phones or other electrical items and ensure they are charging those items for the appropriate amount of time and not just leaving them plugged in.

“Chargers should never be left plugged in and turned on when they are not in use; they should be switched off at the plug and only turned on when they are needed.”

Crews remained in the area following the fire handing out fire safety literature and offering free home fire risk checks to local residents. The incident was closed at 6.25pm.