Close call after remote control helicopter overheats

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service are urging people to be mindful of charging their drones, especially when using an alternative charger than the one supplied, following an incident in Leamington on Friday 28 June. 

Our fire control was alerted to the incident just before 1am that morning. The caller stated that they could smell smoke coming from their son’s bedroom and so were advised to leave the property immediately. On arrival our crews found the bedroom was full of smoke. Fortunately the smoke was caused by smouldering plastic and was caught early before it developed into a fire.

Leamington Fire Station’s Crew Commander, Gareth Walton was one of the officers attending the incident.

“Whenever we get a call of this type, the first priority for our fire control is to ensure that residents get out of the house as quickly as possible, so when the crews arrive, our focus can be on tackling the fire. Fortunately once inside the property, we could confirm that the smoke was caused by a remote controlled helicopter which had become overheated and started smouldering as opposed to a well-established fire.

“Obviously this was a very scary experience for the residents living in the property and it serves as a stark reminder not to leave items charging on materials that could catch fire such as carpets or bedding.

“Always place drones and mobile phones on to a safe surface when charging. Make sure you buy genuine chargers for your items and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. In this instance, it would appear that the charger being used was not the original charger and therefore allowed the helicopter to overheat, which had it not been caught early, could have had devastating consequences.”

As always we would urge residents to have working smoke alarms in place on each floor of their home to ensure that they get the early warning they need.

If you have any concerns regarding fire safety in your home or you know of someone who may be vulnerable and would benefit from a free Safe and Well visit, then please call 01926 466282 or log onto: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/firesafety