Local fire chiefs are campaigning this week to make sure you don’t overload your plug sockets by raising awareness of the dangers of electrical fires.
A brand new vehicle, The Safety and Fire Education Unit, or SaFE-U for short, was unveiled Thursday morning at the Dorset Fire and Rescue Service’s Poundbury base. It is set to educate the public on the different types of electrical fires and the safety precautions they can take to prevent them.
According to Andy Stirling, watch manager of the Community Safety Task Team, the new vehicle is divided into two sections, each demonstrating a different scenario.
The first section is meant to educate the public on the dangers of smoke in the event of a fire. The scenario involves overloaded plugs in a model bedroom starting a fire and quickly filling the room with smoke.
The second section demonstrates the benefits of domestic sprinkler systems by presenting the scenario of an intoxicated person falling asleep after putting the hob on, causing a fire.
Mr Stirling said that the visual presence the new vehicle provides in the community is far more effective than educating the public through literature and awareness campaigns alone, saying that they would be taking the vehicle to various community events and festivals throughout the year. He added that the new vehicle was “very well received” at its unveiling.
Chief fire officer Darren Gunter agreed that public awareness of the dangers of electrical fires is extremely important. He said: “Electrical equipment is an inescapable part of all our lives, from essentials like heating and lights to luxuries like entertainment systems and beauty products.
“We need to be able to make the communities of Dorset aware of some of the incidents these day to day items can cause.”
According to Dorset Fire and Rescue, around half of all household fires in the UK in 2010/11 were caused by faulty or misused electrical appliances and the Dorset service alone attended over 220 incidents in 2011.