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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Electrical Fault Causes Stafford House Fire

14/11/2012

Overloaded plug sockets are to blame for a house fire which broke out last Friday afternoon on St Peter’s Gardens in Rickerscote.

"It would appear at least one of the plugs overheated or suffered an electrical fault which sparked the fire."

Fire Investigation Officer, Al Bateman

Firefighters from Stafford, Rising Brook, Stone and Penkridge, including the aerial ladder platform, were called to the house at 1.53pm in the afternoon to reports of a bedroom fire.

The occupant of the property was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene whilst firefighters tackled the blaze, which spread into the roof space.

A fire investigation was carried out which established the fire started due to overloaded plug sockets.

Fire Investigation Officer, Al Bateman said: “The room was being used as a workshop and had a large number of electrical devices which were left on charge, using several multi way electrical adapters and extension leads.

“It would appear at least one of the plugs overheated or suffered an electrical fault which sparked the fire. During the investigation we also found that other rooms in the house had a similar set up with a lot of electrical items being left plugged in.

“If you do use extension leads, please ensure you are not exceeding the maximum amps the device is designed for and when you have finished using the item unplug it. Where possible, turn extension leads off at the wall.

“I would urge people to follow the some simple advice regarding the use of extension leads and multi way plug adaptors. Christmas is soon approaching and many people will be using extension leads and multi way adaptors in conjunction with their Christmas lights and decorations.”

Some safety tips are:

• Only use them as a temporary solution, one plug socket one electrical device.
• Never place electrical leads under carpets or door thresholds.
• Don’t use damaged or faulty extension leads or multi way adaptors
• Always remove them from the mains socket after use and turn the socket off.
• If you’re charging batteries, ensure you monitor their progress and ensure you follow the manufactures instructions and do not overcharge.
• If you use an extension lead on a drum, ensure you take all the lead off the drum before use. If you leave the wire on the drum and use it, it will generate heat and after a prolonged period could catch fire.
• All electrical Items have a lifespan if in doubt dispose of it and replace.

The fire caused considerable damage to the property, firefighters managed to stop it from spreading to the neighbouring property.