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Plugged-in laptop starts house blaze
8:46am Thursday 3rd October 2013 in Local News
FIREFIGHTERS have warned of the dangers of leaving electrical items on charge after a laptop caught fire at a bungalow on Canvey.
Crews from Canvey went to the blaze at Stanford Road, just before 9.30am yesterday.
The owners of the property were out when the fire started and the emergency services were alerted after a passer-by saw smoke coming from the property.
Crews had to wear breathing apparatus and used two hose reels to put out the blaze.
Further investigations found the fire had started in the lounge after a laptop computer had been left on charge.
Crews then used a thermal imaging camera to check for hot spots and a high pressure fan to clear the bungalow of smoke.
Divisional Officer Stuart McMillan said: “Incidents like this show how important it is to not only turn off appliances, but also unplug them when you go out.
“Between April 2009 and March 2011, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service attended 435 fires started by electrical equipment, accounting for 16 people injured with three of those suffering serious injuries.
“Although the effects of an electrical fire can be terrible, by taking a few simpleprecautions you can keep your family and home as safe as possible.”
Mr McMillan’s advice included: ! Don’t overload plug sockets ! Regularly check for worn or frayed wires ! Unplug appliances when not in use ! Keep appliances clean and in good working order ! Consider using an RCD, which works likeacircuit breaker to protect against electric shocks and reduce the risk of electrical fires.
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