Your brand new electric fire is unbeatable for easy maintenance, quick convenient heat and ease of operation. However, as with any electrical appliance, safety is key, and you’ll want to ensure you’re following the right procedures to avoid mishaps. It’s all common sense these days really, but let’s walk through some of the basic safety advice to ensure you have a problem-free enjoyment of your electric fire.

By the way, did you know that some counties in the UK provide fire safety checks free of charge for people over 65? Contact your local fire department if this sounds like something that would benefit you or your loved ones. A safety check helps to minimise the risk and gives added peace of mind.

For the rest of us, a number one rule is to remember not to use too many plugs in one socket, even if you have an extension lead. The power of the appliances you’re plugging in will make a difference to the limit, and you definitely don’t want to overload or electrical circuits. Ensure that any fuses are the right ones for the job. You might be able to get away with the wrong one and the device still work, but you want to be certain that the fuse will protect you in the event of an electrical fault. These things tend to happen when you least expect them.

Make sure you check now and then for any problems with cables, like fraying or exposed wires. These kinds of factors commonly lead to safety issues with electric fires. Also ensure that if a circuit-breaker keeps tripping or fuses are blowing, you investigate rather than leave it to chance. If light bulbs keep flickering, that could be a sign you need to take a closer look. Better to be safe than sorry.

Here’s one that many people overlook. If you’re not using your electrical appliance, it’s worth unplugging it to be on the safe side. This is especially important when you’re out of the house or off to bed. (This point doesn’t apply to fridges and freezers of course, which are designed to be permanently plugged in.)

If you’re buying a new appliance, it’s worth checking it has a safety mark that shows it meets with British or European standards. This should always be the case with an electric fire, but make absolutely certain before you invest. It might be wise to add a circuit protector for added safety, but you can get advice on this to suit your home and appliance.

And finally, if you are unfortunate enough to have an electrical fire happen despite all your best efforts, remember you should never ever use water to try to put it out. Instead, and only if it’s safe to do so, you could pull out the plug or switch off the power at the mains. If in doubt, just make sure you get out of the building, don’t go back in, and call the emergency services straight away.

So those are some basic rules for electrical safety. It’s always worth talking these through with younger and elderly members of your household to make sure they understand the basics of electricity and refreshing your own memory on it now and then. But sleep well. The chances are, these precautions won't become an issue for you, and like most people, you’ll have a lifetime of safe use with your electric fire.