AS the U.K. is cooked by a brutal heatwave this week, Brits are looking to technology to help them beat the heat.
Those of us using electric fans are being warned against risky behaviour in our bid to stay cool as parts of the country are set to exceed 30 degrees.
Consumer safety charity Electrical Safety First has highlighted six essential tips when using an electric fan to stay cool.
Measures taken to keep cool during the warm nights could lead to a house fire.
"With temperatures projected to exceed those of Los Angeles, people will look for any option to cool themselves down," Electrical Safety First's Giuseppe Capanna said.
"It’s important to make sure you don’t risk fires or burns in your bid to stay cool so ensure you follow our essential tips to avoid an accident occurring.
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"People should buy their fans from a reputable High Street retailer they know and trust, register the product with the manufacturer
and never leave it on whilst asleep or out of the house."
1. Don't leave your fan on overnight
As the nights heat up, they can leave us uncomfortably hot in our beds, potentially depriving us of a good night's sleep.
However, according to Giuseppe, leaving your fan on overnight to provide some cool air is ill-advised.
He says households risk putting themselves at risk if a fault occurs with their device while they are sleeping.
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Giuseppe recommends switching your fan off at night to avoid risk of a fire caused by an electrical fault.
Of course, most modern electric fans are safe to leave on for hours at a time and pose little to no risk of fire.
If you do choose to leave it on overnight, make sure the device is clear of dust and is far away from drapes or curtains.
If you risk severe heat stroke or other adverse health effects by leaving your fan off, it's almost certainly worth leaving it on.
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2. Purchase from a reputable retailer
Purchasing from reputable retailers ensures that you're getting a quality product that has been tested by safety inspectors.
Buying something cheap from obscure online marketplaces, on the other hand, can be dangerous.
That's because it leaves you vulnerable to substandard imitations which could risk electric shock and fire.
3. Don't balance your fan on the edge of a surface
Your fan should always stand on a flat surface.
If it's balanced precariously on the edge of something, such as a dresser or bedside table, it could tip over.
This can cause the blades to hit the guard and put the motor under additional strain, which can cause it to overheat and cause a fire.
On top of that, the fall could also break your fan altogether.
4. Clear your fan of dust buildup
If the vents or motor build up with dust, the motor can be put under additional strain, making it more likely to overheat and catch fire.
The dust itself can also act as a source of ignition if the motor were to overheat.
Ensure to regularly clean your vent to clear it of dust.
Before cleaning the fan blades or motor, make sure to unplug the device and follow the manufacturer's instructions in the manual.
5. Don't ignore a buzzing sound
If your fan is giving off a faint buzzing sound it may be a sign of an electrical fault or ‘arcing’ occurring at the plug.
Always ensure your fan is plugged in securely and if you notice any smell of burning or unusual noises, turn it off immediately.
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6. Check your fan for wear and tear
We often keep hold of fans for years, packing them away in the cooler months, where damage may occur to cables.
It's important to check that your device's cables and vents are in good condition.
Damage to those parts can hinder the product's performance.
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