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A leading safety expert has called upon Scotland’s electrical professionals to help cut the risk of one of the biggest causes of domestic fires throughout the country.
David Dourley, Head of Fire Investigation at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) said the overloading of electrical outlets is the most common fire risk encountered in the thousands of home safety visits carried out by the service every year.
He said: “Often, householders have a block adapter with a TV, satellite/cable box and DVD player plugged into it.
“In turn, that adapter is daisy chained on to another that feeds other devices. We are working hard to educate people about the dangers that set-up poses.”
Speaking in the latest edition of CABLEtalk, the stakeholder magazine for SELECT, the trade association for the electrical contracting industry in Scotland, David said that electrical contractors can help by keeping an eye out for potential problems while on the job.
He explaining: “If you’re working in a house or property and you spot an issue that makes you think your client would benefit from a fire safety check, please talk to them and direct them to our website.
“Look out for indicators such as the lifestyle choices being made, electrical faults such as overloading, or a lack of smoke detectors, which provide the early warning to help save lives.
“Unfortunately, you can’t refer individuals directly, but you can have a word with the occupiers, give them initial advice based on your expertise and point them in our direction for a Home Fire Safety Visit.”
The SFRS currently offers a free Home Fire Safety Visit service and takes part in working groups with organisations such as Electrical Safety First, the Scottish Government, Trading Standards Scotland and SELECT.
SELECT has been at the forefront of a long-running campaign for better regulation to ensure that anyone who calls themselves an electrician is actually qualified to carry out the work. Backed by a variety of supporters including the SFRS, this campaign resulted in a recent pledge by the Scottish Government to publish a consultation on regulation within the industry.
“It’s vital for us to work in partnership groups that include organisations like SELECT,” David concluded. “Different bodies have access to different types of information and by sharing our insights we can get the right message out to the right people.”