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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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As a hot weekend approaches Southern Water asks Crawley residents to use water wisely as demand soars

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Before anyone thinks it’s about a water shortage, it isn’t. It’s about water demand and there is a difference.

The UK is ten weeks into lockdown, with many hundreds of thousands of people at home all day who wouldn’t normally be.

This means a lot of additional hand washing and increased usage in the home (more showers, more washing and more cleaning and cooking etc.)

With all the glorious sunny weather then of course paddling pools, hose pipes and sprinklers are all on the cards.

After all, people are all stuck at home unable to go to the beach or away on holiday as many would normally at this time of year – so those with gardens want to make the most of them, stay cool and water plants.

And with one of the wettest Januarys and Februarys on record there is no problem right?

Well, it’s not that clear cut and here’s why…

Yes there is enough water sat in reservoirs right now thanks to the rain we have experienced, however, water of course has to go through a process to make it safe before it arrives at your tap.

On an average day, Southern Water treat and supply 538 million litres of water – enough to make half the world’s population a cup of tea.

In lockdown, people are using between 10 and 20 per cent more than usual. But even with the extra demand of lockdown, we can treat more than enough water.

However, in hot weather demand really soars and then it becomes difficult to keep up. Imagine being in a shower when someone turns on a tap downstairs – the water slows to a trickle.

And the hot weather coupled with the extra people at home has meant we are seeing some really high peaks throughout the day; in fact some days during lockdown we have seen an extra 60 million litres demand!

Sprinklers, hoses and paddling pools require extreme large quantities of water, something we should be mindful of during a normal summer anyway, but if that demand hits the network at the same time (which lockdown is causing it to do) it causes demand to out weigh supply.

Quite simply, if lots of people fill pools and use hoses and sprinklers – the water supply has to be split between all demands.

So you see, this is why water companies like Southern are asking everyone across the country to use water wisely during lockdown – the demand on the hot days is too high. The water treatment works which are more than capable of producing more than enough water for all essential use are very suddenly stretched.

Especially as these days fewer people have the single occupancy child paddling pools which only take a few litres and are opting for the larger versions – most pools are now between 500 and 1000 litres, with some whoppers as big as 3500 litres – that’s a lot of water! It’s worth noting that as we move further into summer; these sums of water can also go on to cause a water shortage too.

Based on just one average 500-1000 litre pool it takes equivalent amount of water for around:

We hope that this helps to make it clear that thanks to the wet weather over winter we are currently in the lucky position that there is no water shortage, but that Southern Water are joining forces with all water companies across the UK to ask people to use water wisely during lockdown, so that demand can be met at all times.

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