Fewer fires with flat TVs
The introduction of flat TV sets hasn’t just meant an improvement in picture quality and convenience. In Sweden at least, it’s also reduced the risk of the house burning down.
The number of fires caused by TV sets has dropped dramatically in Sweden over the past 15 years, according to figures from the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency. In the past there were between 150 and 160 fires a year here caused by TV sets. Last year that number had dropped to just 20.
Fredrik Eriksson is a fire protection engineer for the fire and rescue services in Mälardalen, west of Stockholm:
“Fires in TV sets used to be very common, because of the high voltages in the older sets,” he tells Swedish Radio’s P4 Västmanland. “They were also made in a way that attracted a lot of dust that was hard to remove. A short circuit with high voltage, combined with flammable dust, is not a good combination from a fire-fighting point of view.”
Flat TV sets are safer because they use much lower voltage.
And if you do have an old-fashioned TV, and it starts to burn. Fredrik Eriksson says the first thing to do is to pull out the plug.
“Then you can try to put it out with a fire extinguisher, or even by pouring water on the TV,” he says. Using water is safe, as long as the plug is pulled out.