• Daisy-chaining extension leads is a common mistake which can lead to examples like this.

  • Plugging heaters into extension leads can also lead to problems - this is an example of what can happen. The London Fire Brigade reported 10 deaths over the last four winters due to fires caused by electric heaters.

  • This is an example of how a good office floor trap should look - clear, free of debris, and with leads placed correctly in the traps.

  • Crushing and stretching leads in a floor trap can lead to the cable becoming damaged, exponentially increasing the fire hazard and making the cable dangerous to even touch without becoming shocked..

  • Don't attempt to carry out repairs on cables yourself! Repairs and alterations are best left to a professional - especially if it's done like this.

  • Always check the tops of plugs. The screws on this fan heater were loose, which meant that the 2kw current has damaged the live pin.

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The London Fire Brigade Service carried out a survey over a five-year period, in which they attended 20,000 fires which were a result of faulty electrical appliances within the workplace or at home. Often the most basic of precautions can prevent disaster.

“The Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 puts a duty of care upon both employer (sections 2,3 and 4) and employee
(section 7) to ensure the safety of all persons using the work premises. This includes the self-employed.”

You can also refer to the Managment of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 for more guidance on the correct methods of accident prevention:

“It shall be the duty of every employer and self-employed person to comply with the provisions of these regulations in so far as they relate to matters which are within his control. It shall be the duty of every employee while at work:

(a)     to co-operate with his employer so far as is necessary to enable any duty placed on that employer by the provisions of these regulations to be
complied with; and

(b)     to comply with the provisions of these regulations in so far as they relate to matters which are within his control.”

– the Electricity at Work Regulations, 1989