‘Don’t use laptop in bed’ says London Fire Brigade amid overheating concerns: 10 ways to avoid electrical fire

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
London Fire Brigade urges returning workers to use their laptops on desks and not on beds to avoid risk of overheating and fire concerns.

As workers across Britain dust off their alarms and prepare for a sudden return to routine, many will be wondering if there’s any point voyaging from the cosy crib to the cold productive desk. Unfortunately, London Fire Brigade are warning against the temptation due to the risk of overheating and electrical fires.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, office personnel were forced to make their house a place of productivity. Since then, some have even chosen to go full domestic breadwinner and continue working from their makeshift desk.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

According to ONS data, 38% of UK adults reported they were continuing to either work from home or hybrid work after government guidance had lifted in February 2022. Prior to the pandemic, the figure was only 12%.

With fewer workers travelling to the office and more to the bedroom desk, London Fire Brigade wants to make sure people understand the ease and severity of an electrical fire. Since 2017, the brigade has attended 26,376 electrical fires.

The London Fire Brigade has urged people to return to their desks after the Christmas break and place their laptops on a hard, flat surface so that they don’t overheat. When lithium-ion batteries in a laptop reach 150°C, the battery starts to overheat and flaming gases are released.

But laptops are not the only household item that can risk an electrical fire, the London Fire Brigade has released a list of ways to make sure you’re not dealing with a flaming dilemma a few days into 2023.

10 ways to avoid an electrical fire  

  1. Always make sure electrical appliances have a British or European safety mark when you buy them.
  2. Keep electrical appliances clean and in good working order.
  3. Don’t buy cheap counterfeit chargers for items that use lithium batteries, and never leave phones or laptops plugged in to charge overnight – learn more about charger safety here.
  4. Empty fluff regularly from tumble dryers in line with the manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. Hair straighteners can get extremely hot – always switch them off and leave them to cool on a heat proof surface.
  6. Try to keep to one plug per socket, especially for high powered appliances like washing machines.
  7. Always check that you’re using the right fuse – if you’re confused, check out our guide to fuses.  
  8. Be lead safety savvy – cable drum extension leads should always be completely unwound to avoid overheating, and be careful not to overload extension leads.
  9. Register your white goods – it could save your life if a product is recalled for safety reasons. 
  10. Share your fire safety knowledge with the whole family – check the kids’ chargers, and make sure everyone knows how to use electric blankets safely

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.