Many household electrical appliances have the potential to cause serious burns and with the nights (and occasional days) suddenly having turned chillier, householders are now reaching for additional sources of heat.

Electrical items such as fan heaters, electric blankets, not to mention the usual suspects like irons, kettles and hair straighteners all have the potential to cause serious burns. It is bad enough receiving a burn as an adult but children suffer the worst from burns due to their skin being a lot thinner than that of an adult. In fact, hair straighteners misuse accounts for one tenth of overall child related burns in the UK.

The dangers that are present

Heated electrical appliances present a particular risk to children as they can often be mistaken as toys. The bright colours of hair straighteners, the moving components of electric heaters, pull cords and long cables all present a problem. A Childs fingers can become stuck in the grills of electric heaters causing severe burns and all this can happen even if you are watching your children. All parents will know where we’re coming from on this!

Burn hazards spotted this week by Fulcher Edwards

Over the past week we have spotted several ‘burning problems’ in households where we’ve been carrying out electrical work.

-Open fires left without any form of fire guard with a young child running about.
-An iron left to cool down unattended in a kitchen. A child could have easily grabbed the cord or switched it back on.
-Hair straighteners left switched on accidentally whilst the householder was out at work.

Top Tips for staying burn free this Winter

As electricians in Hertfordshire, we have unfortunately seen many instances over the years where electrical accidents and burns could have been easily avoided. It takes seconds for a nasty electrical burn to occur and years sometimes to try and sort it out afterwards.

One of the easiest ways to keep electrical appliances safer is to switch off and unplug when not in use. It is all too easy to leave appliances switched on after using them, but remember most burns occur from unattended appliances.

Hair straighteners make up a large proportion of household burns so why not consider a using a heat pouch? Not only will this protect against burns but will also stop damage occurring to surfaces from the heat and also fire. It is always awkward to know where to place hot straighteners after use, a heat pouch is a safe and easy option. We know for sure that two leading hair straightener manufacturers provide heat proof pouches as standard with their products. .

When you might need an electrician

The last thing you need is your electrical appliance malfunctioning when it’s in use, so keep a close check on what’s going on with your electrics.┬áSigns that you need to call an electrician are singe marks on sockets, warm sockets after use, discolouration or hairline cracks on sockets, buzzing noises or odours coming from the socket or sparks when you switch it on or off. These are the main problems, there are more, so if you have any doubt about the safety of your electrics do not leave it to chance and call a qualified and registered electrician as soon as possible.

As electricians in Hertfordshire, we carry out electrical work across many homes including privately owned and rented properties and businesses such as letting agents.