By Eloise Evans on 08/09/2016

In the last year, house fires that are caused by electrical faults have risen by 35%, meaning that they now account for more than a quarter of all fire claims in the UK! New figures compiled by Co-operative Insurance’s claims records shows there has been a “surge in fire claims caused by electrical faults.” This means that this category is the second most common cause, right after accidental ignition, and creeping above fire spread from another property.

Jonathan Guy, head of claims at Co-operative Insurance has said that the increase of electrical fires has “a correlation with counterfeit phone chargers.” As we’ve mentioned in a previous post about the impact of counterfeit electrical products, 2.5 Brits have either accidentally or knowingly purchased a counterfeit electrical item in the last year. It’s difficult to get away from them sometimes as not only are they are so readily available, but they are generally a lot cheaper to buy than genuine products.

These counterfeits are usually made up of poor quality components and very rarely meet our UK safety standards. Being unsafe can not only lead to house fires but can also lead to electrocution and burns when the products fail.

According to the data that Co-operative Insurance has put together, 80 in every 100,000 households will suffer from a fire in any given year, with the average insurance claim for fire being £14,000!

“Fires in homes are among the most costly claims to deal with, as in addition to cosmetic repairs, structural damage to the property may also need to be fixed,” Guy commented. He also noted that many people require alternative accommodation if affected by a house fire, as many homes become inhabitable from fire and smoke damage.

This increase in house fires and the availability of counterfeits means that you must stay alert when shopping. Our advice is to always buy from official retailers and to never leave appliances charging unsupervised for long periods of time, such as sleeping or leaving the house. Another handy tip is to not cover appliances when they are charging, such as leaving them under a pillow as they can overheat and cause fires. And ALWAYS check for EU and UK safety marks!

If you’re not sure on any electrical products or need any advice, contact the experts here at Mr. Electric, we’re more than happy to help!

 

Post Source: Securing Industry

Photo Source: Freepik