Sparking safety in Scotland

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Commenting on Hard-Wired Problems - a new report highlighting key issues, around electric heating, such as fuel poverty in Scotland - Wayne Mackay of safety charity Electrical Safety First, said: “We welcome this report, which shows a higher proportion of Scots are using electric heating than anywhere else in the UK – and many of them are the most vulnerable or worst off.

“It’s particularly important, as our research has found that electricity is the number one cause of  domestic fires in Scotland; with disadvantaged and vulnerable groups – particularly older people - often among the most at risk from electrical accidents and fires.

“Worries about fuel bills means that many will try and minimise costs by using portable heaters, to avoid having to heat every room. But these have caused a number of house fires, mainly through misuse. Last year, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service reported that portable heaters were responsible for most of the heating equipment fires (67 out of 110) – and a third of fatalities from fires.

“We are urging people to take care when using these heaters. Always ensure they are placed on a level surface, away from inflammable materials – and don’t plug it into an extension lead, which can be overloaded and cause a fire.”