Warning after overnight charging sparks village house fire

editorial image

A warning has been issued over leaving electrical appliances on overnight following a house fire in Broadbridge Heath.

Firefighters rushed to a property in Cook Way in the early hours of Tuesday morning (July 10).

A power bank similar to this caught fire after being left on overnight in Broadbridge Heath

A power bank similar to this caught fire after being left on overnight in Broadbridge Heath

A portable battery pack - used to charge devices such as mobile phones, laptops and tablets - was left plugged in on top of a mattress. It overheated and caught fire.

Andrew Parsons, Fire Investigation Officer, said: “At this particular incident, there were two young occupants in the room at the time when the fire started. Thankfully the fire didn’t fully ignite and we were quickly alerted to the emergency.

“I cannot emphasise the importance of unplugging electrical charging devices before you go to bed enough. Many people are under the illusion that they will not be affected by a fire situation if they are to leave their charges unattended, but it is just not worth the risk.”

No-one was injured in the incident and the fire was put out before crews arrived.

Charity Electrical Safety First has released the following advice to owners of electrical appliances:

- Use the power pack only for its intended use, e.g. to recharge your mobile phone.

- Keep it away from heat sources and liquids, such as, direct sunlight, humidity or water.

- Only use connecting cables provided with the battery pack and your mobile device.

- Don’t expose to extreme temperatures of hot or cold.

- Don’t leave a battery on prolonged charge when not in use.

- Don’t cover when charging. Charge in a well-ventilated environment.

- In the event of a cell leaking, don’t allow the liquid to come into contact with the skin or eyes. If contact has been made, wash the affected area with water and seek medical advice.

- Most power banks and bars use lithium-Ion chemistry batteries that will naturally get warm due to high currents flowing during charge and discharge cycles. It is normal for them to feel warm to touch, but if they are too hot to handle, do not use and seek advice from the manufacturer.