With many working from home to prevent the spread of Covid-19, fire fighters across Cumbria have issued a warning to make people aware of the potential dangers.

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service have issued urgent #StayHomeStaySafe advice, as the potential for more house fires has increased with the extra use of heating, ovens, devices and more.

Will Richardson, group manager of prevention, said: “It’s absolutely vital that in these uncertain and unprecedented times people don’t forget about basic fire safety in the home.

"Clearly with increased numbers of people indoors for much longer periods of time, there is a heightened risk of fire.

“This is about keeping you and your loved ones safe, and we must all do what we can to not add pressure to our already challenged NHS.

He added a key action to take is check that all smoke alarms in the home work.

Cooking fires are a major concern as people are expected to cook more during the day and with schools shut and children at home, parents could get distracted.

As people who don’t usually work from home set up temporary offices, there is also a risk of an increase in electrical fires.

Hazards include overloading plug sockets, using counterfeit or incorrect chargers for tablets, laptops and mobile phones and “daisy-chaining” – plugging multiple extension leads together or plugging many multi-socket adaptors into a single socket.

Mr Richardson added: “This is all about basic fire safety awareness, and the checks we are advising will take just a few minutes to carry out to keep you and your family safe.”

But it's not just home workers at risk, as businesses forced to shut due to the the pandemic also need to be wary.

Craig Drinkald, area manager at Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Many shops, businesses and venues in Cumbria are temporarily closed to reduce social contact, prevent the spread of Covid-19 and save lives.

"We are advising businesses to take some simple steps to protect their premises from fire.”

Tips issued to home workers and businesses include; not overloading sockets, turn off or unplug equipment when possible, make sure cigarettes are fully extinguished, check that fire alarms work, never leave cooking unattended, and conduct regular safety checks.