Stop putting your animals at risk – that’s the message from firefighters, and a number of special guests, as they launch a new safety campaign aiming to drive down electrical fires across South Yorkshire.
Figures released by South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, show there have been more than 350 electrical house fires in the county over the last three years.
Data also shows that crews have attended over 76 house fires in the last three years where pets were involved – highlighting that it isn’t just humans who can be affected by fire.
With most of these incidents being described by fire officers as easily preventable – the service has produced a series of online videos that highlight some of the everyday electrical fire risks in the home.
Area Manager Steve Helps, head of the joint police and fire community safety department, said: “When you leave the house in a morning, with the washing machine on and various electrical devices on charge, do you ever think about how your dog, or maybe your rabbit, would escape in the event of a fire? How about your fish, or budgie?
“Anybody who has a pet knows that they are part of the family but they are often overlooked when it comes to escaping in an emergency – with fire as a prime example. We know people are busy and don’t want to ask too much, so we’ve pulled out three simple things that people can do to keep their animal friends safer.
“Most of our electrical fires could have been easily prevented and the most common causes are things like leaving electrical appliances (like washing machines and tumble dryers) on overnight and when people are out, as well as overloading plug sockets.
“Buying ‘knock-off’ electrical equipment, which does not meet safety standards is also something we strongly discourage, as it can be prone to malfunctioning and starting fires. A good rule of thumb is that if it sounds too cheap to be true, it probably is.”
The fire service has also launched an online electrical quiz as part of the campaign.
Visit www.syfire.gov.uk/protectyourpets to take part.