Laptop fire sparks safety warning

Date: Friday 5th April 2019

CUMBRIA Fire and Rescue Service has issued a fire safety warning urging people not to leave electrical devices on soft furnishings like beds or sofas.

The warning comes after an incident involving a fire in a home that was caused by an overheating laptop which had been left on a bed.

Fire crews from Kirkby Stephen and Appleby attended the bedroom fire at a property at Soulby, near Kirkby Stephen, at 8pm on Wednesday. They used breathing apparatus and a hose reel jet to extinguish the fire.

Edward Burrows, community safety manager from Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, said: “This fire was caused by an overheating laptop that was left on a bed. Fortunately no one was injured in this incident but the fire caused damage to the property.

“We would take this opportunity to warn the public and residents of Cumbria that they should not leave electrical devices on soft furnishings like beds or sofas. Laptops/phones and tablets contain Lithium batteries that get very hot and if not free to air, can build up heat potentially causing a fire.

“Laptops specifically have air vents underneath the computer that are designed to allow the device to cool, if you have ever used a laptop on your lap you may have felt the build-up of heat as clothing stops this ventilation.”