Battery charger fires

How to Safeguard Your Home from Fires Caused by Battery Charges and Socket Overloads

With the holiday season around the corner, it’s crucial to prioritise the safety of our homes, especially when it comes to charging devices like phones, tablets, gaming consoles, laptops, and festive decorations such as Christmas tree lights. Each year, numerous home fires are attributed to faulty chargers, damaged electronics, or the perilous practice of overloading sockets.

Beyond the more commonplace culprits like candles and garden fires, it’s worth noting that chargers, when left unattended, can pose significant risks. According to the London Fire Brigade, they respond to an average of 24 fires per week initiated by chargers, batteries, and cables. To minimise these risks, consider the following safety measures for charging your devices:

Stick to Original Chargers: Always use the charger that came with your device. When replacing a charger, opt for branded, genuine products from reputable suppliers to avoid falling victim to counterfeit items.

Mind the Temperature: Avoid using or charging batteries in extreme temperatures, both high and low. Protect batteries from physical damage, such as crushing, puncturing, or exposure to water.

Unplug After Charging: Once your device has completed its charging cycle, unplug it. Leaving items continuously on charge, especially overnight, increases the risk of overheating and potential fire hazards.

Avoid Covering Chargers: Never cover chargers or charging devices, including using your laptop power lead in bed. Adequate ventilation is crucial to dissipate heat.

Be Cautious While Traveling: When traveling, especially by plane, avoid consolidating items with lithium-ion batteries. Check with your flight carrier for specific guidelines and advice.

In addition to device safety, it’s equally important to prevent overloading sockets. Here are five measures to avoid socket overload:

  1. Check Extension Lead Ratings: Before plugging appliances into an extension lead, check its current rating, usually found on the back of the extension lead.
  2. Avoid Overloading: Never exceed the maximum current rating of an extension lead by plugging in appliances that collectively draw more power than the lead can handle.
  3. No Daisy-Chaining: Avoid plugging one extension lead into another, as this increases the risk of overloading.
  4. Opt for Multi-Way Bar Extension Leads: Use multi-way bar extension leads instead of block adaptors, as they place less strain on the wall socket.
  5. Consult a Qualified Electrician: If you need additional plug sockets, consult a qualified electrician to ensure safe installation.

Ensuring the safety of your home extends to having proper insurance coverage. Verify your house and contents insurance policy to guarantee comprehensive protection. Call us on 01905 21681 or email for more information regarding protecting your home from house fires this Christmas.