Smell Smoke ? Call The Fire Service

Shropshire firefighters say people should always call the fire and rescue service if there is a strong smell of burning which is unaccounted for.

John Davies, Watch Manager at Oswestry Fire Station, gave the warning after smouldering electrical wires caught fire under floorboards at a Shropshire phone shop.

Two fire appliances attended the incident at the Get Connected mobile phone shop in Willow Street, Oswestry, after they were called following reports of a burning smell.

Firefighters used a thermal imaging camera to locate the fire and Scottish Power also attended to deal with a power fault.

“If anyone has knowledge of strong smells, especially of PVC, they should dial 999 for us to check it out as electric cables can smoulder for a number of hours or days with the potential danger of them causing a serious fire,” said Mr Davies.

“In this case cables ran under the floorboards and a fire had started to burn.”

For advice on home or business fire safety contact Shrewsbury fire HQ on 01743 260200 or visit

Electrical fire safety tips include:

  • Don't overload plug sockets. All wall sockets have a maximum capacity of 13 AMP’s. High powered appliances such as washing machines/tumble dryers/kettles/toasters should have a single plug socket to themselves.
  • Don’t run cables under mats or carpets. Cables/wires under mats or carpets can wear and tear over time and the damage can’t be seen.
  • Keep electrical appliances clean and in good working order. Look out for fuses that blow, circuit-breakers that trip for no obvious reason and flickering lights to prevent them triggering a fire.
  • Check for British or European safety mark. Make sure an appliance has a British or European safety mark when you buy it.
  • Always check that you use the right fuse to prevent overloading. When you're fitting or replacing a fuse, it's important to use the right fuse for the appliance to make sure the cable doesn't overheat and that the appliance is protected in the event of a fault.