Fire chiefs raise concerns over need to reduce energy bills

Energy suppliers are urged to offer reduced tariffs not only for times when families are sleeping

Big Zero Report 2022

Fire chiefs have raised concerns over practices that see electrical appliances run during the night to save money on rising energy bills.

The rising cost of living and the new price cap announced last week have put increased financial pressure on customers, who are trying to find cheaper ways to charge their devices.

However, fire authorities have said that fire safety does not come with a price and have urged energy suppliers to offer deals that benefit customers not only when they are normally sleeping.

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson told ELN: “We understand that a balance needs to be struck between energy use, green issues and fuel costs but in our view, you cannot put a price on fire safety.

“Some kitchen appliances such as fridges and freezers are designed to run 24 hours a day but while the vast majority of household appliances like dishwashers, washing machines and tumble dryers are manufactured to a good standard and are perfectly safe, we would not advise leaving them unattended overnight.”

Charlie Pugsley, National Fire Chiefs Council’s Electrical Safety Lead, told ELN: “We are conscious of the need to reduce energy bills and supportive of the help energy companies look to provide consumers.

“But we also urge providers to ensure reduced tariffs are not limited to times when most households would be sleeping.

“We would not advise running appliances such as tumble dryers or dishwashers when you are sleeping as if a fire starts, you will have less time to react and escape the property.”

The NFCC also said customers should have working smoke alarms and register their white goods so that if there is a dangerous fault that could cause a fire, they will be notified.

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