East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service logo
East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service logo

Electrical Fire Safety

Check your electrical appliances and reduce the risk of fire for your family or housemates

On this page

Product Safety Recalls 

Manufacturers occasionally recall products with potential safety problems. 

You can Register Your Appliance for repairs and recall information.  

Electrical appliances

  • Keep them dry - this includes plugs and sockets, not a good idea to put a vase of flowers on top of the TV, for example
  • Switch them off at night - unless they are designed to be left on, like freezers
  • Anything made of metal, or has a metallic finish or parts shouldn't go into a microwave

Keep electrical items in good working order

  • Electrical appliances, especially ones that run at high speeds and contain motors, like washing machines, should be serviced once a year by a qualified electrician.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions

Regularly run these checks over your equipment

Plugs and sockets

Keep an eye out for the following:

  • Hot plugs or sockets, scorch marks, fuses that often blow, or flickering lights - they are all are signs of loose wiring or other electrical problems
  • Badly wired plugs - any coloured wires sticking out could come loose and debris could also get into the plug
  • Are the wires are held firmly in place inside the plug
  • Overloaded sockets - plugging too many electrical appliances into one socket can lead to overheating
  • Use sockets safely - it's better to use a bar adapter (multi-board) on a lead than a block adaptor
  • Only use one adaptor per socket - don't plug one adaptor into another and try to keep to one plug per socket

Cables and leads

Are they

  • Getting frayed and damaged - make sure the outer covering of all power leads is in good condition and replace if necessary?
  • Badly positioned - they shouldn't be anywhere that they could be tripped over, or near water, cookers or other sources of heat?
  • Running them under rugs or carpets where they can wear through without anyone noticing - position them elsewhere?


When you're fitting or replacing a fuse, it's important to use the right fuse for the appliance to make sure the fuse doesn't overheat.

Check the manual or look for a sticker on the appliance to find out its wattage and then use the correct fuse:

  • for appliances up to 700 watts, use a 3 amp fuse
  • for appliances between 700 and 1,000 watts, use a 5 amp fuse
  • for appliances more than 1,000 watts, use a 13 amp fuse

Extension leads and adapters have a limit on how many amps they can take, so be careful not to overload them, to reduce the risk of fire.

Fake Mobile Phone Chargers


If you think something needs fixing or changing, do it straight away.

Here are a few specific things to think about

Electric heaters

Plug-in heaters use a lot of electricity and generate a lot of heat.T his means they can be dangerous if they are not bought from reputable shops and used correctly.

  • They should be kept away from furniture and fittings. Make sure that nothing can fall onto a heater.
  • Keep at least three feet - one metre - away from them
  • Have fireguards to prevent and protect children and/or pets coming in contact with them
  • Never dry washing on or near them (or on fireguards)
  • Try to secure heaters up against a wall to stop them falling over.
  • Don't cover air vents on storage heaters or fan heaters.

Electric Blankets

E-Cigarette Charging

Electronic cigarettes are an increasingly popular way for people to reduce the amount of tobacco they smoke or stop smoking altogether. While the immediate health benefits may be obvious, e-cigarettes they can pose a fire safety risk.

An RCD is a sensitive device that quickly turns the electricity off when danger happens.

RCD protection is particularly important when using electrical equipment outdoors.

Dealing with an electrical fire

If there is an electrical fire, pull the plug out, or switch off the power at the fuse box - if it's safe to do so. Sometimes this can stop the fire immediately.

Never use water on an electrical fire, and don't take any risks with your safety - get out, stay out and call 999.

Electrical safety guidance for landlords and tenants 

Ensuring the electrical safety of your property and tenants is vital. 

It is important that you make simple visual checks at least once a year and it is strongly recommended that you also do so at each change of tenancy. 

The Electrical Safety Roundtable have produced two guidance documents to help you make these checks which you can download here. These guides can be used by both landlords and tenants and will help you identify any potential fire risks. 

The Electrical Safety Roundtable is a leading industry forum, uniting a diverse range of experts in their field behind the common goal of improving electrical safety in the home. 

Electrical Safety First logo

Electrical Safety First

The Electrical Safety First is a UK charity committed to reducing deaths and injuries caused by electrical accidents at home and at work.

They provide free electrical safety publications and leaflets.

You can view the full range of information on their website.

Voice Skills For Alexa And Google Nest

The Electrical Safety First voice app, available for Alexa and Google Nest, makes it easy for you to find out if the electrical products in your home have been subject to a recall.

Simply ask your device to "Open Electrical Safety First" and ask if a product has been recalled.

You can ask about general products ("Has my fridge been recalled") or check by brand name.

You'll then be told whether there are any recalls you need to be aware of, and you'll also have the option to sign up for our recall alerts.

Please rate this page, was it:
Please rate this page!