North Wales fire chief issues safety warning after laptop battery sparks house fire in Rhuddlan


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A senior fire safety officer has issued a safety warning following a fire involving a replacement laptop battery in Rhuddlan last night (6th July).

Crews from Rhyl and St Asaph attended the fire at Tan yr Eglwys, Rhuddlan at shortly before 10.40pm.

The fire caused damage to the laptop, the kitchen table where the laptop was charging and blackening to the wall. Firefighters used one hose reel to extinguish the fire.

Simon Bromley, Community Safety Manager for Conwy and Denbighshire, said: “With more and more people working from home, we’re using laptops and other electrical items more often.

“Everyday electrical items pose fire risks – but there are things we can do to reduce these risks and help keep safe.

“Batteries can present a fire risk when over-charged, short-circuited, submerged in water or if they are damaged. If replacing a battery, always buy branded items from reputable suppliers.

“It is really important to charge them safely too, and avoid charging overnight or covering chargers or electrical items.

“The occupant was in the room when the fire broke out – thankfully they also had working smoke alarms fitted which sounded and would have raised the alarm.

“Electrical fires can strike anytime, anywhere so having working smoke alarms fitted in your home will help protect you and your family.”

The fire service has provided the following tips on staying safe when using batteries and chargers:

  • Always use the charger that came with your phone, tablet, e-cigarette or mobile device.
  • If you need to buy a replacement battery or charger, always choose a branded, genuine product from a supplier you can trust. There are lots of fakes out there, and it can be difficult to spot the difference. Counterfeit electrical chargers can be deadly – many fail to meet UK safety regulations leading to fires and injury.
  • Avoid storing, using or charging batteries at very high or low temperatures.
  • Protect batteries against being damaged – that’s crushed, punctured or immersed in water.
  • Don’t leave items continuously on charge after the charge cycle is complete – don’t leave chargers plugged in overnight.
  • Never cover chargers or charging devices – that includes using your laptop power lead in bed.
  • When you travel, avoid keeping all your items containing lithium ion batteries together, especially on a plane. Check with your flight carrier for additional information or advice.
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