Chris Huhne & Terry Wogan warn on Fire Hazard

Chris Huhne with Prysmian boffins

Both Chris Huhne and Sir Terry Wogan were involved in campaign launches concerned with Fire Safety issues yesterday.

Eastleigh MP Chris Huhne has backed a new campaign to stop home fires due to faulty electrical cables.

The Approved Cables Initiative (ACI) was launched in London to ensure the use of safe electrical cables such as those made at the Prysmian cables – formerly the special cables division of Pirelli General which is based at Pirelli’s former Eastleigh sites

Michael Simms, a director at Prysmian is also President of the British Cables Association and Cables and Systems Ltd, and was also present at the launch in Westminster.

The ACI addresses the issue of unsafe, non-approved and counterfeit cables entering the UK marketplace, a prime cause of thousands of fires in homes and businesses across England and Wales.

The Initiative takes a hard hitting approach to educating the electrical supply chain – from manufacturer to end user.

Parliamentary questions tabled by Mr Huhne,  revealed that there were 4,093 fires across England in 2007 that were attributable to faulty wires and cables in homes and businesses, 27% of all electrical fires.

“Sub-standard and counterfeit cables pose a real threat to lives and livelihood, as the figures I have uncovered reveal said Mr Huhne

“These cables look very similar to properly tested and manufactured cables, but can rapidly overheat, thereby posing a real fire risk.

“The importation and use of counterfeit cables is a completely avoidable hazard, and one the Government need to help stamp out by supporting initiatives such as the ACI.”

While Mr Huhne and Mr Sims were launching their imitative at Westminster, Hampshire Fire Brigade were helping to launch a nationwide campaign to encourage people to test their smoke alarms every week with by making a ‘Push it pledge’.

The fire and rescue service whose headquarters occupy the former North End School building on Leigh road, revealed that a host of celebrities had already pledged to test their alarms every week.

Celebrities include TV Chef Ainsley Harriot, boxer Amir Khan and Sir Terry Wogan who said:

“I had a fire at home last year, and can vouch to the excellence of our local fire and rescue service, but if it hadn’t been for the smoke alarm, even they might have been too late to help, and the consequences could have been fatal for me and my family. I’ll make sure that my smoke alarm is tested weekly.”

John Bonney, Chief Officer of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and President of the Chief Officers’ Association:

“A smoke alarm can buy valuable time to escape from a fire, but only if it’s working properly. It’s not enough to just install smoke alarms in your home – you must test them every week. The main reason that smoke alarms fail to activate is missing or flat batteries – if the battery needs replacing, do so immediately.”