House fire on Maylands Avenue following plug in extension lead.

Firefighters are sharing their tips for using extension leads safely following a house fire on Maylands Avenue in Hornchurch yesterday.

Part of a garage attached to a semi-detached house was damaged by fire. There were no reports of any injuries.

The fire was discovered by a resident who saw smoke going past the patio doors and heard a loud bang from the garage.

The Brigade’s Fire Investigators believe the fire was accidental and caused by resistive heating in the plug of an extension lead.

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “Overloaded sockets are one of the most common causes of electrical fires. Always use a fused ‘inline’ type, not the plug-in cube type. Some electrical appliances use more power than others, so be mindful not to overload extension leads and always check that you’re using the right fuse for the plug.

“Power-hungry appliances such as kettles, toasters and microwaves, shouldn’t be on the same extension. It’s also important to fully unwind drum extension leads. If you leave them coiled, they can overheat and cause a fire.”

The Brigade was called at 1255 and the fire was under control by 1410. Two fire engines and around 10 firefighters from Hornchurch and Acton fire stations attended the scene.

Firefighters’ top tips for electrical device safety

  • Try to keep to one plug per socket, especially for high powered appliances like washing machines.
  • Always check that you’re using the right fuse – if you’re confused, check out our guide to fuses.
  • Be lead safety savvy – cable drum extension leads should always be completely unwound to avoid overheating, and be careful not to overload extension leads.
  • Always make sure electrical appliances have a British or European safety mark when you buy them.
  • Keep electrical appliances clean and in good working order.
  • Don’t buy cheap counterfeit chargers for items that use lithium batteries, and never leave phones or laptops plugged in to charge overnight

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