Stop your Christmas going up in smoke

Concerned firefighters have issued a warning about charging your phone in bed after they responded to a house fire in Whitley Bay.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) immediately deployed crews to the blaze after receiving a 999 call last week.

Firefighters from Tynemouth Community Fire Station were at the two storey semi-detached property in Whitley Lodge in a matter of minutes.

They found the fire had started in the first floor bedroom where a charger had been left on a bed causing it to overheat and ignite.

Using their breathing apparatus, firefighters entered the property and extinguished the fire, limiting the damage to the home.

But today (Monday) staff at TWFRS have issued fresh warnings about electrical goods ahead of the Christmas period.

Karen Soady, Prevention and Education Manager, said “Christmas is an exciting time and we often gift each other with electrical items.

“However you need to take care when plugging them in and testing them out this Christmas,

“We all can become overwhelmed around this time of the year – not least the electrical sockets in our homes. Anything with a heating element should be plugged into a wall and not an extension.

“You should also avoid cheaper alternatives to chargers as they aren’t subject to the same stringent fire safety tests as legitimate products.

“And remember to turn it off at the wall when you aren’t using it, not only does this save on your electricity bills but it also significantly reduces your risk of fire.

“Make sure your smoke alarms are in working order this Christmas, they are the first line of defence when it comes to fire, so test it and give us a call if you need new ones fitted.”

If you’re worried about your smoke alarm not working or where it’s placed, get in touch with TWFRS and get your smoke alarm fitted to make sure you are safe this Christmas.

TWFRS fit smoke and heat detectors for free, you can request a Safe and Well Check, which includes the fitting of free smoke alarms and advice to protect your home from fire by calling TWFRS on their freephone number 0800 032 7777 or fill in their online form.