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Preventing Electrical Fires in the Office – 4 Top Tips

european plug in UK plug socket. Not good for preventing electrical fires.

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We believe it’s essential for your staff to feel safe and secure at all times at work and preventing electrical fires in the office is one of the best ways to help with this. 

Between 2020/21 alone, the highest cause of fires in dwellings in the UK was the misuse of equipment or appliances, with a further 3665 fires caused by faulty appliances and leads.

In this blog, we detail four of the most common causes of electrical fires and how best to prevent them, ensuring the safety of your office and team.


Faulty wiring is a leading cause of electrical fires in the workplace. Many people don’t think of wires as combustible material, but sadly, that’s not the case.

In most cases, fuses should trigger when a circuit is overloaded. However, these can also be outdated and fail to function correctly.

It’s crucial, not to mention good working practice, to ensure that this equipment is regularly checked to lower the risk of a fire occurring.

Overloaded Sockets:

Much like wiring, sockets can be easily overloaded if the proper safety measures aren’t taken.

Extension leads are widespread in the workplace, as they offer the convenience of multiple power points. First, however, it’s essential to understand the limitations of using them.

The majority of extension leads are rated for 13A(amps) across their sockets, meaning you mustn’t plug in equipment that will draw more than this amount, as doing so will raise the risk of a fire.

Where possible, look to evenly distribute equipment that draws large amounts of power between sockets. As an example, don’t run six desktop computers off of one extension lead; instead, try to plug them individually into wall outlets for maximum safety.

Incorrect Plugs:

When using an international plug in the UK, you should always use a plug adapter, making sure to buy one from a reputable company. These adapters should come with a fuse fitted as standard and allow you to use the plug in UK sockets easily. Fuses stop the flow of electricity in the event of an overload and help to reduce the risk of fire dramatically. Because of this, they are one of the best ways of preventing electrical fires. 

However, we do not recommend using these adapters in an office building, especially if the intention is to use them as a long-term solution. Instead, we strongly suggest getting a specialist like ourselves to professionally adapt the plug to a UK one to provide the best level of safety possible.

Faulty Appliances:

The final major cause of electrical fires in offices comes from faulty appliances.

It’s easy to put off having your ageing equipment properly PAT tested, but it’s something that should be a significant priority.

PAT testing involves a professional electrician thoroughly inspecting your appliance, checking for damage, and taking the necessary readings to ensure it’s working optimally and safely. Our specialists at SFM are expertly trained and able to carry out PAT tests on your equipment to give you peace of mind and ensure you’re fulfilling health and safety requirements and doing what needs to be done to aid in preventing electrical fires. 

Sussex Facilities Management – Preventing Electrical Fires in Sussex

Your office should already have a designated fire marshall, who ensures that the correct risk assessments are being carried out and equipment is regularly checked, but SFM can fully inspect your electrical equipment and carry out complete maintenance to allow you to relax at work – safely.

Contact us today to find out how we can help on 01444 812 171, or visit our website to find out more.

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