So we’re all guilty of leaving electrical plugged in and turned on, at least from time to time anyway. When leaving the house in a hurry, we might forget to turn off the phone charger or leave the TV on stand-by.
It is something we should always try to avoid.
Firstly it’s a waste of electricity, which ends up draining money from our bank accounts. With energy prices as they are these days, can we really afford to keep wasting electricity?
But regardless of that, they can cause a fire risk if they’re left plugged in and switched on.
12% of fires at home between 2013 and 2014 were started by electrical equipment. And in the same period, 85% of fatal fires at home were started accidentally, so it makes sense to always be limiting our risks.
Laptop and Phone Chargers
Devices such as laptops and mobile phones are not designed to be plugged in all the time. When they’re always plugged in, you end up killing the cells in the battery which will limit their life.
Experts say keeping devices charged between 40% and 80% will increase the life of your battery. So there’s no need to keep these things plugged in anyway.
And you should avoid using cheap chargers, as they may not have been tested to ensure they’re safe.
So next time you replace a charger, pick a brand you recognise.
Although they are better for your health than smoking, they still carry a risk of causing a fire.
Once they are fully charged, it is recommended you unplug them as soon as possible.
Estimates are that around 100 fires a year in the UK were caused by e-cigarettes and their chargers in 2014.
These recharge in the same way as a phone or tablet, meaning they carry the same risks if you buy a cheap alternative.
It is also worth remembering to not leave devices on charge if you’re not at home. It means that if something does go wrong, you’re on hand to quickly react and limit the damage it causes.
They make no noise, which can make it hard to notice that you’ve left them left turned on. So after using hair straighteners, you should make sure to check you have unplugged them.
They can reach up to 200 degrees, and that sort of heat can do a lot of damage. Especially if they’re just abandoned on your bed or floor.
Also, they could seriously burn you if you unknowingly picked them up after leaving them on.
Any electrical device which overheats could cause a failing of some sort, as they’re often not designed for those extremes, not only because it could start a fire, but it can also cause the device to malfunction.
Games consoles are susceptible, especially if they’ve been turned on for long periods of time without ventilation. It is important to make sure they’re not covered by a messy teenager, or adult, dumping clothes.
And it is good advice to give them a break from time to time, just like you should yourself.
Other Good Advice
Always keep an eye on the condition of the electrical wiring and plugs on all your electricals.
Don’t ignore any damage which you might spot, so make sure to not use the product until it has been repaired.
To make certain you’re alerted if an electrical item does catch fire, ensure you have working smoke alarms at home.
Should an electrical fire break out, also use the right type of extinguisher to avoid electrocution.
A CO2 extinguisher is ideal as it won’t further damage the device.
Powder extinguishers are also safe to use, but will leave a messy residue behind.
But please don’t be afraid of using your electricals. All the time you’re being cautious, there shouldn’t be a problem.
By flicking a switch, you’re not only saving your home from a potential fire, you’re saving yourself money too.