Electrical Safety

Electrical fittings and appliances are everywhere in our homes and it’s easy to underestimate the danger they can pose.

Being aware of the warning signs can help you avoid having an electrical fire in your home.

Please follow the electrical safety advice we have published on this page – it could save your life.

40% of accidental house fires are caused by electrical appliances and supply. You can protect yourself and your loved ones by being aware of electrical safety.

Plugs, sockets and wires

We encounter plugs and sockets every day and it’s easy to overlook how important their maintenance is for our safety.

Here is some advice on electrical plugs, sockets, and wires:

  • Keep an eye out for burn or scorch marks on plugs or sockets.

  • Inspect wires regularly for fraying or damage.

  • Do not use a plus socket that smells like burning or emits a buzzing noise.

  • Beware if a particular fuse keeps tripping – this could indicate a fault.

  • Never overload your plug sockets – check using the tool below.

  • Do not use a plug if you suspect that it’s damaged.

If you are in doubt, have the plug, socket, or wiring checked by a qualified electrician.

Electrical appliances

From mobile phones and televisions to freezers and computers, our lives are filled with electrical appliances.

Here are some tips on staying safe while using them:

  • Use each appliance only for its intended purpose.

  • Read all the instructions before you start using the product.

  • Turn off the appliance when not in use, apart from ones designed to stay on like fridge-freezers.

  • Don’t leave yours on standby – this wastes money and can be a fire risk.

  • Keep an eye out for product recalls in case yours aren’t safe to use.

  • Never use appliances like washing machines when you’re out or asleep.

You can register your appliances (opens in a new tab) for free so you’ll be notified of any recalls.

Overloaded electrical sockets

Did you know that overloaded plug sockets are one of the most common causes of electrical fires?

It is very important to make sure you use your sockets correctly. Whether a plug socket is overloaded depends on the appliances you have plugged in. Use this handy tool on the Electrical Safety First website to see if your plug sockets are overloaded.

The Socket Calculator has been brought to you by Electrical Safety First. For more electrical fire safety information and advice, please visit the Electrical Safety First website (opens in a new tab).

For detailed information about electrical safety in the home you can download our safety leaflet. For more information on using washing machines and dryers safely, please download our washing machine and tumble dryer leaflet.