Around three quarters of fires in Scottish homes arise from electricity – and last year, white goods such as fridges, freezers, washing machines and tumble dryers were responsible for a house fire in Scotland almost every day.
That’s why Stuart McMillan MSP made a point of visiting a white-goods safety event in the Scottish Parliament, hosted by leading safety charity, Electrical Safety First, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Services (SFRS) and the Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland (SCOTSS). Designed to help MSPs get to grips with some of the key information they need to help keep their constituents safe, the drop-in event offered a range of tips and hands-on advice.
Speaking after the drop-in event, Stuart said:
“While the Scottish public has a high awareness of the traditional causes of fire, with issues around cooking, smoking and alcohol all key factors, people tend to forget the risks inherent in electricity, particularly white goods.
“It’s an issue that we all face, and recent high-profile recalls have highlighted the need to take electrical safety seriously.
“However, manufacturers and retailers have major problems tracing consumers with a recalled item if it hasn’t been registered.
“Yet research undertaken by Electrical Safety First found that only a third of Scots register their electrical appliances. So I will be calling on my constituents to make sure they register their white goods in particular.”
The event was the first time the Charity, the SFRS and SCOTSS – all members of Scotland’s Electrical Safety Group, which is chaired by the SFRS – have come together to provide an integrated approach to home electrical safety.
“As partners, we all have a common aim – to reduce the number and impact of electrical fires”, explains David Dourley, Head of Fire Investigation and Fire Engineering at SFRS.
“The impact of a home fire can be devastating, physically, psychologically and financially. However, there are some simple but effective steps you can take to significantly reduce the risk of fire.”
It’s a view echoed by Electrical Safety First:
“We understand that, in the C21st, electrical safety has to take a 360-degree approach”, explains Wayne Mackay, Deputy Public Affairs Manager at the Charity.
“So collaborative working is key to ensuring we get the safety message out as far and wide as possible. We also offer a range of guides and advice to help people keep electrically safe at home, including how to easily register their appliances. To find out how, go to www.whitegoodsafety.com.”