As this year’s Electrical Fire Safety Week (14-20 November) gets underway, Martin Whitfield MSP is backing a new awareness campaign to help households using electric heaters stay safe this winter.

Electrical Safety First is making this issue the focus of this year’s annual Electrical Fire Safety Week. The charity is highlighting the fact that increases in energy costs are driving millions towards using electric heaters, with nearly 40% of Scottish households stating they will either definitely be using or consider using an electric heater to heat a single room in their home this winter.

However, if these devices are used incorrectly, they could have life-changing consequences. This year, Electrical Safety First is highlighting the damage and devastation that heater fires can cause, as evidenced by fire and rescue services around the UK, and urging consumers to follow some key safety messages as they stay warm this winter.

Martin Whitfield MSP said:

“Over the last year we have seen household energy bills soar, with the energy price cap increase putting people under much greater financial pressure when it comes to heating their home, especially those on fixed incomes.

“Electric heaters are frequently used during the colder months, often by older people who either do not have central heating or who worry about the extra cost of using it. While they can help people stay warm, particularly in smaller spaces, experts warn that when heater fires occur, they can be devastating.

“With energy bills set to keep rising, many people, especially those who have not traditionally turned to electric heaters, may look to these devices as an alternative heat source. This makes it more essential than ever that they are used correctly and safely.

“That’s why this new campaign from Electrical Safety First is so important to help raise public awareness of the potential dangers of using these devices and reduce the risk of devastating electric heater fires happening this winter.”

The campaign’s key safety messages for consumers using electric heaters include:

  • Never leave electric heaters on overnight or unattended
  • Keep them well away from fabrics or other flammable materials which may catch fire
  • Plug them directly into the mains wall socket, don’t use an extension lead.

Find more advice about staying warm and safe at home this winter at Saving Money Safely | Electrical Safety First.