For immediate release:


With the weather set to remain cold throughout the rest of January and into the start of February, Rutherglen MSP Clare Haughey is reminding constituents of the dangers of electrical heaters.

The MSP is backing Electrical Safety First’s ‘Safer Over 65’ campaign which is encouraging the public to check on the electrical safety of older family members or neighbours. The charity has also produced a range of tools and guides to give vital tips on how people can be safe and warm in their home during cold snaps.

Nearly three quarters of fires arise from electricity, whilst official figures show that people over 65 in Scotland are at a greater risk from fires in the home than any other age group.

Commenting, Clare Haughey MSP said:

“Many older people worry about winter heating bills, often using portable heaters and electric blankets to cut costs – but these appliances have caused a number of house fires, mainly through misuse.

“Furthermore, as most older people are owner-occupiers, they tend to live in homes which haven’t had an electrical safety check for many years or which often lack important electrical safety features.

“Today, we are sadly also seeing a significant increase in age-related illnesses such as dementia, making electrical safety even more of an imperative.

“I am backing Electrical Safety First’s ‘Safer Over 65’ campaign, and encourage all my constituents to take heed of their important advice.”

According to Electrical Safety First, most electrical fires are caused by simple mistakes that can easily be avoided. The charity’s top tips for using portable heaters safely include, placing heaters on a level surface and at least a meter away from combustible material, never to use them to dry clothes, don’t power them with extension cables, and avoid buying them second hand.

For more detailed help. Including advice though an app which allows you to do a rapid visual electrical safety check of a home, plus a range of safety guides, visit:


Portable Heater Safety Tips in full:

• Place the heater on a level surface, well away from anything that could knock it over.
• Make sure the heater is at least a metre away from combustible materials, such as paper, furniture or curtains. Never use it to dry clothes!
• Never leave a heater unattended when in use, or while sleeping.
• Never power a heater from an extension lead – they can easily be overloaded and cause fires and trailing leads can cause slips and trips.
• Make sure heaters are regularly inspected for damage and deterioration. If it isn’t in good condition, don’t use it!
• Avoid second hand heaters – buy from recognised and reputable manufacturers and retailers.

Further information on the campaign can be read here:


Date published: 9th January 2019

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