A spokesperson for Electrical Safety First said: “Consumers face an unprecedented cost of living crisis, aspects of which could have wider implications for safety in the home. Fires that occur at night can present a greater risk to people who may be sleeping and their response to the incident, delayed. Where practically possible, we advise consumers to avoid leaving appliances like washing machines, tumble dryers or dishwashers running unattended overnight. However we understand that some consumers who are struggling to pay for energy will feel compelled to do this to save money, especially as the running of appliances becomes cheaper during ‘off peak’ hours.
It seems inevitable therefore that during the current crisis more appliances will be running overnight so we strongly advise that members of the public do all they can to reduce their risk by following a few simple steps. It is crucial that homes are fitted with working smoke alarms on every floor and that electrical sockets are not overloaded. Now, more than ever, it is imperative to ensure appliances are registered with the manufacturer so that in the event they are subject to a recall the consumer can be contacted directly. It is also important that appliances are kept in good working condition and any filters are regularly cleaned, as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Cables should be checked regularly for any signs of damage and consumers should take care not to overload extension leads with multiple appliances. These simple checks will help protect consumers during an increasingly challenging period for millions.”