Heat your home safely this winter

Top tips from Surrey Fire and Rescue Service

With the weather getting colder, there are lots of alternatives to heating available on the market currently, some of which could help you stay warm for less this winter. However, some of these may not meet strict safety standards which could pose a risk to you and your home.

Here are some top tips from the Surrey Fire and Rescue Service for general electrical safety this winter:

Buying new items

  • Only buy electrical items from reputable retailers that you know and trust. Do your research about the company you are buying from. You will be able to find reviews on reputable websites from reputable and secure retailers.
  • All electrical items should have a UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) marking on them, this means they meet strict safety regulations. (UKCA markings will be present on newer items).

Portable heaters

Using a portable heater is a popular alternative to heating your entire home. The three most common types of portable heater are halogen heaters, fan heaters and oil filled radiators. If not used correctly they can pose a serious fire risk.

Here are some things to be aware of when using these kinds of heaters:

  • Put your heater on a level surface.
  • Ensure your heater is at least 1 meter away from flammable materials.
  • Never dry clothes directly on or near a heater
  • Never leave a heater unattended and turn it off before you go to sleep.
  • Do not power portable heaters with extension leads. This can overload them and cause them to spark.

E-bikes and E-scooters

Whilst people are trying to save money on their heating, more and more people are using e-bikes and e-scooters as a cheaper form of travel. Although, E-bikes and e-scooters are a great way to get around quickly and cheaply, but if the batteries become damaged, begin to fail, or are over charged, they can start very fierce fires. Fires involving lithium batteries spread incredibly quickly and produce toxic fumes.

Battery powered scooters are more prone to damage as the batteries are underneath the footplate and so are subject to more damage. Please keep your home and family safe from fires involving lithium battery fires by following this advice:

  • Always source your e-bike or e-scooter from a reputable retailer and be wary of 'cheaper' offerings from the global marketplace.
  • Don't charge or store your lithium batteries or e-bikes and e-scooters in corridors, or on an exit route. If a fire breaks out your escape will be blocked.
  • Protect your batteries from extreme temperatures, both high and low.
  • Try to avoid buying conversion kits, but if you do, get a professional to do the conversion for you.
  • Store them in a shed or garage where possible.

Find out more on electrical safety on the fire safety at home web page.

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