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ESC and Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue Services arrange electrical training for firefighters

Electrical Safety Council (ESC) recently teamed up with Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) by funding a training course on the investigation, treatment and prevention of electrical fires
Firefighters must have a good understanding of electrical appliances and their safety from fires

Enabling rescue services to extend their understanding of electrical fires, we help them develop best-practice techniques and approaches.

With government statistics showing that approximately half of all accidental domestic fires in the UK are caused by electricity, hands-on training for front line staff is vital. To help address this issue, the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) recently teamed up with Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) by funding a training course on the investigation, treatment and prevention of electrical fires.The two-day course for Fire Investigation and Scenes of Crime Officers covered a range of topics designed to increase participants' understanding of electrical fires and how best to detect and deal with them.

The event was opened by Hertfordshire Area Commander for Operations, Doug Robinson and led by internationally renowned expert, Dr Nick Carey, the FRS electrical fires expert for the UK. Subjects covered included electrical theory, how to use electrical test instruments and causes and diagnostics of electrical fires. Twenty-six people attended the event, including all fourteen Fire Investigation officers from Hertfordshire FRS, as well as representatives from fire services in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridge, Bedfordshire and Essex.

Phil Buckle, Director General of the ESC, comments: "The need for specialised training is evident – the government statistics speak for themselves. By enabling rescue services to extend their understanding of electrical fires, we help them develop best-practice techniques and approaches to dealing with them. It should also help to improve accuracy of fire reporting, which in turn will enhance statistical data on electrical fires - and assists us in determining how best to reduce them. This kind of collaboration shows where partnership working can really have an impact. By supporting the FRS in this way, we help them to help us reduce the economic and emotional losses caused by electrical fires."

Electrical training on safety and usage is a must for all firefighters

Dave Stokes, Fire Investigation Officer for Hertfordshire FRS, adds: "We set-up this course with the ESC not only to provide specific electrical training for our fire investigation officers but also to extend this learning opportunity to representatives from the rest of the region. The course aimed to give officers a greater understanding of electricity to help us investigate the causes and impact of electrical fires - and to establish if electricity was a contributing factor to a fire. So in addition to reviewing basic electrical theory and electrical circuits, we also dismantled various electrical appliances, to learn how to determine if a fire has been caused by a defect, or through product misuse."

Dave continues: "It is fantastic that the Electrical Safety Council has supported us by sponsoring this training. This is the first time the charity has sponsored a course of this kind and it has proved to be a great success." The ESC works on a range of initiatives to reduce the number of electrical fires in the UK. One of these, the ESC Fire Safety Fund, works in partnership with various organisations to increase awareness of electrical safety issues. To date, the ESC has awarded £220,104 for community-based projects to improve electrical fire safety. 

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