More warnings on the perils of faulty appliances

Further warnings on the serious and tragic impact of faulty electrical appliances have made the headlines in recent weeks.

BBC News reported that a 30-year-old electric blanket caused a fire which killed a man in Stoke-on-Trent. The faulty blanket caused a fire, something which the Electrical Safety Council says happens more than 5,000 times in homes across the country each year.

Elsewhere, a local fire service has issued advice and warnings after a mobile phone battery caused a household fire. Humberside Fire and Rescue attended a fire in Scunthorpe caused by a faulty charger.

With electricity involved in about two thirds of all accidental house fires, and household appliances the most common culprits, the fire service offered the following advice:

"Sometimes fires are caused by faulty goods, which could be small items like mobile chargers, or big things like washing machines and dryers. Fires are also caused by people misusing electrical appliances, for example by leaving them plugged in for too long or covering them up allowing them to overheat.

"Another big problem is overloading sockets and extension leads. Although many extension leads have four or more plug sockets, it doesn't mean they can take that many items. High powered appliances like hair dryers, straighteners and irons can easily cause you to exceed the extension lead's limit, which is normally 13 amps."

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