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West Sussex Council issue warning over non-genuine phone chargers after house fire

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Residents are being warned of the dangers of using non-genuine phone chargers after a house fire.

Investigations into the cause of the fire indicate that a non-genuine phone charger started the fire on the afternoon of Thursday January 23.

Upon arrival the fire crews found a fire in a first-floor bedroom of the property on Church Green in Shoreham. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus were able to contain the fire to the room of origin, but the house suffered from smoke damage.

Crews from Shoreham and Worthing, together with two East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service appliances attended.

Giles Sparkes, Station Commander for Shoreham, Henfield and Partridge Green, said:

“Luckily this family had a working smoke alarm in their property, so were given plenty of warning and able to get out of the property.

“Early investigations suggest this fire started as the result of an after-market phone charger. We would always urge residents to use the charger that came with your device. If you need to replace it, make sure it is a genuine, branded product with the CE mark. Fake chargers are often made with poor quality components that fail to meet UK safety regulations. This can lead to injury, electric shocks and fires.

“Make sure that you unplug chargers when they are not in use, and don’t overload sockets – plugging too many electrical appliances into one socket can lead to overheating.”

Peter Aston, West Sussex County Council’s Trading Standards Team Manager, said:

“As well as posing a fire risk, unsafe electrical items such as chargers can cause electrocution and potentially death to an unsuspecting user.

“We advise people to only buy electrical products from a recognised brand or high street retailer.

If you have bought a charger and have concerns about its safety, you can let Trading Standards know by calling Citizen’s Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04050 or online at www.westsussex.gov.uk/tsreport.”

For more information on electrical fire safety visit https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire-emergencies-and-crime/west-sussex-fire-and-rescue-service/home-fire-safety/electrical-and-heating-appliance-safety-advice/

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New £100k pedestrian crossing for families’ taking children to school installed in West Green

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West Green Primary School Business Manager Annette pictured trying the new crossing with her daughter before the school reopened.

A new pedestrian crossings has been installed in the past few months and is now operational, helping families with the walk to a school in West Green.

The crossing in Crawley cost £100,00 and is aimed to improve safety for families with school-age children – plus pedestrians generally.

With schools reopening and roads becoming busier after lockdown, people are being encouraged to leave their cars at home and consider other travel choices.

Roger Elkins, Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure, said:

“The new crossings provide a safer route to schools for families and to other local amenities for pedestrians generally.

“People are being encouraged to consider walking or cycling for their journeys, if they can. It’s a great way to get fit, save fuel money and reduce the number of cars on the road. This in turn will improve air quality and reduce congestion.”

West Green Primary School requested the Puffin crossing for West Green Drive and worked with the county council’s transport improvements team to build the case for road safety improvements.

Other enhancements had already been introduced, including ‘School Keep Clear’ markings, to provide pupils and parents with a safer environment.

Throughout this process, West Green continued to provide pupils with road safety education and encourage sustainable travel.

West Green Primary School Business Manager Annette Tomsett said:

“The school is delighted to have worked closely with West Sussex County Council in bringing to fruition this crossing. It will make a huge difference in the safe route to school for our pupils and families, alongside having a positive impact for the whole community for now and for the future.”

The improvements cost a total of about £100,000.

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