Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Flash FY23 007 – Jet Wash Electrical Fire

Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Flash FY23 007 – Jet Wash Electrical Fire:

Introduction, Background and Description: 

Royal Mail Group’s Safety Team have issued RMG SHE Safety Flash FY23 007 following a recent incident in which a ‘Jet Wash’ machine caught fire and caused significant damage to Royal Mail property which could have been worse had it not been extinguished.

A jet wash machine malfunctioned and started to display an intermittent electrical fault, turning itself on and off. Subsequently the motor overheated and the machine burst into flames and was destroyed. The fire was extinguished by employees on site using water.


Fortunately, no employees were injured. The jet wash was destroyed and damage was caused to Royal Mail building cladding (see attached image in the SHE Flash). It was fortunate the fire was extinguished due to its proximity, close to the Royal Mail main building’s gas supply.

Key Messages, Learning Points and PiC/Managers Actions: 

  • All significant fires must be reported to the fire services by calling 999 – remember get out, stay out and call 999.
  • Ensure any fires extinguished are done so by a trained employee only using the correct type of fire extinguisher for the type of fire concerned.
  • Electrical fires should be extinguished with Carbon Dioxide or powder fire extinguishers. Water or foam (which is water based) fire extinguishers must not be used on electrical fires. Neither should hose pipes or buckets of water be used to put out an electrical fire. Never throw water on an electrical fire because water conducts electricity and those doing this could be electrocuted. With electrical fires, also turn off the power. When there’s anything other than a minor fire don’t take any risks with your safety – remember get out, stay out and call 999.
  • Ensure electrical equipment is Portable Appliance Tested (PAT tested) which is the periodic examination of electrical appliances and equipment to ensure they are safe to use. Most electrical safety defects can be found by visual examination but some types of defect can only be found by testing.
  • Report all defective equipment to the National Service Centre (formerly known as the RMP&FS Help Desk) on 0333 005 0312.


  • WSRs/ASRs please ensure that this Safety Flash is communicated and brought to the attention of all appropriate members and that actions above are deployed by PiCs/Managers.
  • ASRs to concentrate attention to this matter during Workplace Safety Inspections.


  • Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Flash FY23 007 – Jet Wash Machine Electrical Fire.
  • Fire Extinguisher Types and Uses Guide.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

LTB 062/23 Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Flash FY23 007 – Jet Wash Electrical Fire

Att: SHE Flash FY23 007 – Jet Wash Fire

Att: Types of Fire Extinguisher

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