Electrical fire sparks safety warning

Firefighters are urging people to wise-up to electrical fire safety following a blaze in Leeds.

One man was rescued by firefighters from a high-rise flat in the Woodhouse area and taken to hospital with smoke inhalation after an electrical fire involving a fuse.

A fuse protects an appliance and its electrical circuit from overloading with electricity.

The fuse is designed to ‘blow’ if it detects a fault within the electrical circuit, which can be in the cable or the appliance itself.

In this instance a blown fuse had been tampered with and wrapped in kitchen foil, causing electricity to continue to follow without a safeguard.  

The resulting fire, on June 22, involved a toaster and caused damage to a kitchen and smoke logging throughout the flat.

Fire Investigator Stephen Fealy said: “The fuse is there to protect the device and occupants from the consequences of an electrical fault.

“It is very dangerous to tamper with a blown fuse in this way, purely because a spare fuse is not to hand, and the occupier of this flat had a very lucky escape.”

It is also important to ensure all electrical appliances are regularly checked and maintained in good working order.

  • Don’t overload plug sockets.
  • Regularly check for worn or frayed wires.
  • Unplug appliances when not in use.
  • Have a working smoke detector and test it weekly.

For further advice on home fire safety visit www.westyorksfire.gov.uk where you will also find a socket overload calculator.

A free Home Fire Safety Check can also be booked via our website or by calling 0800 5874536, alternatively pop into your nearest fire station to make arrangements.