Local News

Electrical Fire in Fairview Road, Hungerford

There was a wrong link in February’s Penny Post Hungerford which sent you here when you were probably expecting to be reading an interview with the High Sheriff of Berkshire. Please click here to be re-directed – apologies for the slightly surreal detour.

On the evening of Monday 8 January a fire, believed to have been started by a faulty tumble drier, broke out in a house in Fairview Road in Hungerford. Four fire engines were quickly on the scene and the blaze was contained before it could spread or do any structural damage. No one was harmed but the house itself will be uninhabitable for some time as due to the damage caused by the smoke. A lucky escape, thanks to the prompt action of the fire service.

What can be done to minimise the risk of this kind of fire? We contacted Paul Whiting, the MD of Event Fire Solutions and a Hungerford Town Councillor, to ask him to offer some prevention advice based on his long fire-service career.

Advice from Paul Whiting, Event Fire Solutions

There are many possible causes of fires but as the one in Fairview Road was probably electrical I’m going to concentrate on that aspect.

• Always ensure your electrical appliances are in good working order. If you have any doubts seek professional guidance from a certified company or individual to test your appliances
• Always unplug items not in use.
• Never leave your home with appliances in use.
• Never leave hot items like irons or hair straighteners unattended and always place on heat resistant pads when in use.
• Never overload extension leads, and ensure you use a fused bar for protection.
• Check that children are safely using charging leads in their bedrooms: these should not be on their beds or in bedding.
• Keep electrical items away from any water.
• Ensure that high-powered items such as washing machines have their own plug, not an extension.
• Always check guidance documents on testing timelines to ensure portable appliance testing is followed.
• Ensure you have working smoke alarms in your home and test them weekly.

There are so many ways we can all make ourselves safer and electrical safety is only one of these. Please refer to this guidance available from Royal Berkshire Fire & Rescue Service following the link below. Just five minutes of your time on this site could make the difference.

A great way to help your children learn in an interactive site is to visit this site which helps younger members of the household understand safety and fire and makes learning fun for them.

It must be accepted, however, that no matter how much care we take and however safe we try to be accidents and incidents sadly do happen. if this happens, we need to act quickly and safely. My advice on this point is very simple:

GET OUT – CALL THE FIRE SERVICE – STAY OUT.

Finally, have a look at this link for information on how to plan for an emergency and how to make your family safer.

I hope this helps you be safer in your home. I will focus on another home-safety category in a future article in Penny Post.

Paul Whiting
Event Fire Solutions

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