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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/

Community

Crawley’s Community Wardens successfully retain police accreditation

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Crawley Borough Council’s Community Wardens have successfully retained their Sussex Police accreditation.

The Community Warden Team was granted accreditation status again in December 2019 by the Chief Constable of Sussex Police, Giles York. This lasts for three years. Crawley Borough Council’s wardens have been accredited since 2008.

The Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS) allows organisations and their employees working in community safety to be given targeted police powers by the Chief Constable. These powers can help them become more effective in their role and contribute to community safety and security, as well as combat crime and disorder, public nuisance and anti-social behaviour.

Additional powers the Community Wardens have under CSAS are:

  • Power to require the name and address of a person whom they have reasons to believe has committed a relevant offence (such as causing injury, alarm or distress to any other person or the loss or damage to any person’s property, or a relevant Fixed Penalty Offence)
  • Power to require name and address of a person acting in an anti-social manner.
  • Power to require persons drinking in a designated place to surrender alcohol and to dispose of any alcohol
  • Power to require persons aged under 18 to surrender alcohol and to dispose of any alcohol
  • Power to seize tobacco from a person aged under 16 and to dispose of it
  • Power to stop cycles when they have reasons to believe that a person has committed the offence of riding on a footpath.

CSAS also allows for greater partnership working between the police and local organisations, as well as raising the priority of community safety.

Councillor Gurinder Jhans, Cabinet member for Environmental Services and Sustainability, said:

“It is great to see the Community Wardens retain their Sussex Police accreditation. They play such an important role within Crawley; it’s vital that they have this accreditation so they can use the additional powers to help Sussex Police keep Crawley safe.”

You can report anti-social behaviour by filling in our form at www.crawley.gov.uk/communitywardens or calling 01293 438000 during normal office hours. For an urgent response between 8am and 9.30pm, seven days a week, call the Community Wardens on 07884 492324.

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