Mum details horror moment she discovered her baby’s room was on fire with the infant inside – as warns others about the dangers of the common household item that caused the blaze
- Mae Short felt ‘utter panic’ when she heard 17-month-old Margot coughing
- Fire shorting their home’s electricity supply and cut off the baby monitor
- A Fire and Rescue superintendent said it was ‘so close to being a tragedy’
A mum has described the horrific moment she realized her 17-month-old daughter’s room was on fire with the infant inside.
The blaze started inside Mae Short’s home in Manly, sydney in the early hours on Friday.
The mother-of-two said a power board caught fire in baby Margot’s room, shorting their home’s electricity supply and cutting off the baby monitor.
Ms Short felt ‘true and utter panic’ when she heard Margot coughing and realized what had happened.
Mae Short and her 17-month-old baby Margot look at the damage caused by an overloaded power board
‘Her room was just full of smoke, like soot, it was really thick. I couldn’t see her, or couldn’t see anything in there,’ she told Channel 9.
‘She was covered in soot and her dummy (was) covered, just all over her, her clothes.’
Ms Short wants to warn others of the dangers that are all too easy to make with electrical appliances.
Items such as heaters use a lot of wattage and can cause power boards to become overloaded.
‘I already had an idea in my head it wasn’t good to put too many things on it so I thought I’d go get a good one,’ said Ms Short.
But, as she now realizes, having a heater on a power board can lead to it overloading, no matter how good it is.
Superintendent Adam Dewberry from NSW Fire and Rescue said the family was fortunate.
‘Frankly, it’s shaken me a bit because this was so, so close to being a tragedy,’ he said.
Mae Short and her daughter Margot (pictured) had a fortunate escape when an overloaded power board caught alight in the baby’s room
The damage was caused in baby Margot’s room (pictured) shorting their home’s electricity supply and cutting off the baby monitor
POWER BOARD SAFETY TIPS
Invest in power boards with overload protection
When possible use boards with built-in safety switches
Always place power boards in well-ventilated areas
Ensure boards are placed in sight at all times, not beneath or behind furniture
Clean regularly to avoid dust and dirt build up
Ensure all plugs (including the wall plug) are fixed correctly at all times – boards stored in areas such as beneath desks are susceptible to being kicked or slipping out of their sockets
Regularly inspect the condition of your boards and their cords
Don’t plug in too many power hungry appliances into the same board.
Don’t plug in an appliance if you aren’t sure about the amount of power it draws
Don’t place the board in an area where water or moisture can build up, such as the kitchen and bathroom
Don’t place under carpet or rugs – this might help to disguise unsightly cords, but it can disguise danger too
Don’t place inside cupboards
Don’t place near heaters
Don’t connect a power board onto the end of an extension cord – always plug power boards directly into the wall
In the case of an electrical fire, never use water to extinguish the flames
Don’t plug one power board into another to extend the number of sockets, as this can be very risky
Don’t attempt to repair a power board yourself