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Tuesday, December 6, 2022
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House fire in Harrow believed to have been caused by mobile phone battery

Four fire engines and around 25 firefighters tackled a house fire on Churchill Avenue in Harrow on Saturday.

Footage on social media showed smoke billowing from a house near Northwick Park station with members of the public seen watching on.

London Fire Brigade confirmed that half of the ground floor of a semi-detached house was damaged by fire. Thankfully, there were no reports of any injuries.

A resident was alerted to the fire by the smell of burning. They then saw smoke coming from around a door on the ground floor and on investigation they discovered a fire in a rear bedroom.

The fire is believed to have been caused by the failure of a lithium-ion battery for a mobile phone that was on charge and left on top of bedding, the Brigade said.

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “On arrival crews were faced with a well-developed fire with smoke coming from the rear of the property.

“Batteries can present a fire risk if they’re over-charged, short circuited, submerged in water or damaged, so it’s really important to protect them against being damaged and charge them safely.

“Electrical devices should always be charged on hard flat surfaces where heat can dissipate, and you should also make sure you unplug your charger once it’s finished charging.”

The Brigade was called at 1044 and the fire was under control by 1220. Fire crews from Harrow, Stanmore and Wembley fire stations attended the scene.

London Fire Brigade also advised of the following electrical safety tips:

• Never cover chargers or charging devices – that includes using your laptop power lead in bed.

• Always use the charger that came with your electrical item

• If you need to buy a replacement, always choose a branded, genuine product from a supplier you can trust. There are lots of fakes out there, and it can be difficult to spot the difference.

• Don’t leave items continuously on charge after the charge cycle is complete – it’s best not to leave your phone plugged in overnight for example.

• Never cover chargers or charging devices – that includes using your laptop power lead in bed.

• You should always turn your laptop off when you’ve finished using it, and don’t leave it on a surface that could catch fire, like a bed or a chair.