Archives for FE Domestic

Your Fuse Box Explained

All homes have a fuse box, otherwise known as a consumer unit. It is our homes electrical hub as it controls and distributes the electricity around the home. Your fuse box is your first point of call if you need to turn your electricity off in an emergency. Or if the electricity in your house suddenly stops working.

We would hope that you all know where you fuse box is located, but how many of you understand what each switch does?

Understanding Your Fuse Box

At an initial glance you fuse box can look complicated. Therefore we hope the following explanations will help you feel more comfortable managing your fuse box, especially in an emergency.

  1. The main switch: The main switch will enable you to instantly turn off your homes electrical supply. This will be the switch to flick off in the event of an emergency. However beware that if you have electric storage heaters you will have a separate fuse box for these. Therefore they will have their own main switch which you would also need to turn off to cut all electricity in your property.
  2. Residual Current Device (RCD): The RCD is the main safety feature within your fuse box. RCDs are a sensitive switching device that quickly turn off electricity when danger arises to reduce the risk of death or serious injury. RCDs turn off electricity in a fraction of a second. Last year we did a blog about the importance of RCD protection, therefore you can read that blog post HERE to find out more.
  3. Circuit Breakers: Circuit Breakers will automatically switch off a circuit if it detects a fault. By looking at your fuse box you would be able to see if a circuit breaker has ‘tripped’ as one or more of the switches would be flicked down. You can easily reset the switches yourself by flicking them back up, however its important to first identify the initial fault.
  4. Fuses: Older fuse boxes may have fuse wiring in place of circuit breakers. Similarly to circuit breakers they switch off a circuit if a fault is detected. However it does this by the fuse wiring overheating and melting which then switches off the circuit. Fuse box replacement in St Albans, London, Hertforshire

The above photo shows a modern fuse box which I have labelled accordingly. As explained above, older fuse boxes would have fuse wiring in replace of circuit breakers. We recommend all family members have familirisation with the workings of the fuse box.

Older homes might still have a fuse box which dates back to the 1960s. This can be identified if there are cast iron switches, a wooden back, and fuses. We would highly recommend you get this updated to a modern fuse box.

If you would like further advice or think your fuse box needs updating, please do not hesitate to contact us HERE.

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Electrical Safety In The Home

For the past 38 years we have provided electrical services across Hertfordshire and London. As I’m sure you can imagine, we have encountered some electrical horrors and very near misses over the years! This could be due to incompetent tradesman, electrical DIY, or faulty electrics.

Our most recent discovery was this socket outlet in a house in Kensington. The tradesman who installed the fridge had left the socket outlet in this condition from over 4 years ago! This was highly concerning for our engineer to discover as electrics like this can be fatal. There was risk of electric shock to the resident, but also electrical sockets like this could’ve caused the appliance to become very hot and potentially explode!

Electrical Safety Tips

Electricity was a brilliant discovery for the human race, however its important to be cautious with electricity as it can cause fatal injuries if mishandled. We recommend the following tips to optimise electrical safety in your home:

  1. Always use registered electricians. NICEIC, Elecsa, and NAPIT are UK registering bodies for electrical contractors. They will carry out thorough audits to assess the electrician is competent and works to the highest standard of safety and quality. The electrician will also have to work to the latest British safety Standards.  Electrical Safety First have a register in which you can find a local, registered electrician HERE.
  2. Do not carry out electrical DIY! According to Electrical Safety First, DIY causes half of electric shocks in UK households. The safety factor is a major concern, therefore its best to always use a registered electrician to carry out the works. Many DIY electrical incidences are caused by cutting through a power lead, not turning off electrical devices before working on them, and drilling into wiring. Always seek advice from a professional, and if you’re not sure then do not carry out the DIY works.
  3. Use Part P registered electricians in St Albans. As mentioned above, if you use a registered electrician they are likely to also meet Part P requirements. Part P is a building regulation which ensures the electrical installations within dwellings are safe. Majority of electrical works within a dwelling will be Part P affected. Therefore the works needs to be notified and inspected by a building control body to ensure they meet building regulations.
  4. Have an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) carried out on your property. The EICR will highlight any internal wiring defects, as well as visual defects to your sockets or wiring which could cause a fire.
  5. Have a common sense approach with electricity. Do not overload sockets, do not leave electrical items charging while unattended, and contact an electrician if you notice any visual defects with your sockets or wires.

Its important to treat electricity with the utmost respect. Sometimes you can follow all the above advice and an electrical incident could still occur. However its important to eliminate the risk as much as possible.

Please do not hesitate to contact us HERE for all your electrical needs or for further electrical advice.

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Keeping Your Pet Electrically Safe

Apparently it was national ‘Love Your Pet’ day on February 20th (who knew!). At Fulcher Edwards Ltd we’re big animal lovers and believe that every day should be ‘love your pet’ day. Therefore what better way to show your love than caring for their safety?

During the working day our pets are often home alone. Therefore it’s important to make sure there are no potential electrical hazards in the house which could cause a fire in your absence.

We recommend you take the following measures to eliminate the risk of harm to your pet:

• Don’t leave any electrical items charging while you’re not in the house.
• Be aware that some pets do like to chew on cables. Therefore it’s a good idea to keep your cables tidy and not trailing on the floor. If your pet chews through the cables insulation it could result in them electrocuting themselves.
• Ensure extension leads and sockets are not overloaded. This is to avoid a build-up of heat which could potentially cause a fire.
• Don’t leave portable heaters or electric fans on while unattended. Both of these items could injure your pet.
• Carry out visual checks on your sockets and cables. If burn marks are present or there is exposed wiring, it is best to call an electrician! Electrical Safety First has this great visual inspection app which you could use around your home.
• Don’t forget to make sure your hair straighteners and curlers are turned off and taken out of the socket. Not only could these burn your pets, but they could also cause a fire.

Many people consider their pet to be their baby. Therefore reflect on the electrical safety measures you would take for young children and relay those onto your pets. Don’t let them suffer for your carelessness!

For any electrical assistance in your home or workplace, speak with your local registered electrician in St Albans, London and Hertfordshire or please do not hesitate to contact us HERE.

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What Is There To Know About Lot 20?

Last Friday we saw students across the country take part in a global campaign for action on climate change. It was inspiring to see children of all ages walking the streets urging the government to declare a climate emergency. Equally, it’s disappointing that students feel they have to miss out on their education time in order for the government to take action. Especially as they are suffering for the previous generation’s mistake.

Despite the fact that majority of the harm has already been done, most of us are trying to take little steps forward to slow down the damage which is being done to our planet. Electric cars are all the rage with Audi most recently revealing their first electric model – the E-Tron. Within our homes we are reducing our plastic usage, using energy efficient lighting, and an initiative which has most recently come to my attention… Lot 20.

What is Lot 20?

As of January 2018, a new EU legislation was put into effect called Lot 20. Lot 20 aims to reduce energy which is produced from sources which use electricity, gas, or liquid fuels to heat our homes and work spaces. According to Ecodesign half of the energy used within a household goes towards heating the space and water. Therefore improving on energy efficiency within these areas should drastically reduce our carbon footprint.
Lot 20 will affect the following products:

  1. Direct acting heaters
  2. Radiant heaters
  3. Storage heaters
  4. Underfloor heating
  5. Portable heaters
  6. Gas fires
  7. Electric fires
  8. Infra-red heaters

Therefore as of January last year, manufactures will no longer be able to produce the above products if they do not meet the new energy efficient standards. Products produced before this time period will still be able to be sold and used. Eventually that stock will sell out and only new compliant models will be available.
According to Ecodesign, new compliant heaters will have the following smart technology built within them:

  1. Electronic time and temperature controls
  2. Open window sensing technology
  3. Predictive start functionality
  4. Remote app based control

I think it’s great to see that more and more companies are making changes to assist with carbon reduction and hitting energy targets. If you’re a supplier, installer, or customer you can check whether your product is compliant to Lot 20 HERE.

Please do not hesitate to contact us HERE for assistance with electric heater installation in St Albans, London and Hertfordshire, or any other electrical services which we provide.

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New Rules for EICRs in Rental Properties

In recent news, the Housing Minister has agreed to tighten up electrical safety rules in rental accommodation. These extra measures will provide greater protection to the tenants, but also to the Landlords.

Landlords have an obligation to ensure their rental accommodation is meeting electrical safety standards. The British Standards recommend that Landlords have an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) every 5 years OR at the change of tenancy. However up until now there has been no legal requirement to ensure that the inspectors they use for the EICRs have specific qualifications or a certain level of competence. Therefore, the Housing Ministers will also now be publishing guidance which highlights the minimum level of qualifications and competence required of the inspectors. This provides extra reassurance to both the Landlord and Tenants.

What is involved in an EICR?

An EICR involves a skilled person carrying out inspection and testing to ensure the installation is of a satisfactory condition. The process is mainly a visual inspection to ensure there are no exposed wires, damaged sockets etc. Electrical tests will also be carried out to confirm disconnection times in the event of an electric shock.  The main purpose of an EICR is to test the internal wiring of a building. The inspection should highlight any defects which could potentially cause a fire or affect the safety of persons.

At Fulcher Edwards we take pride in always providing a high standard of electrical safety. This is why each year we undergo rigorous audits to meet NICEIC, SafeContractor, and BAFE accreditations. However not all Electricians put the same level of importance on electrical safety and standards. Therefore these extra measures will provide assurance to the tenants that their home is safe, but also their will be a material improvement to the Landlords property. Failing to comply with these new measures will result in financial penalties for the Landlords.

If you are a Landlord or Tenant and would like to have an EICR carried out on your property. Please do not hesitate to contact us HERE.

 

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Dont Let Fire Ignite Your Valentines Day!

The day of love is just around the corner, with teddy bears and chocolate covered hearts already filling the shelves. I am of course talking about Valentines Day! The day to show your partner, friends, or even family just how much they mean to you. If you prefer to keep your Valentines Day celebrations slightly more low-key and choose to avoid over-crowded restaurants with expensive set menus, then having a romantic meal for 2 at home is the best solution. However don’t let your passion ignite real flames in your home!

How To Prevent Fire Ruining Your Valentines Day

  1. Candles are perfect for creating a romantic atmosphere, however they can often be a common fire hazard. Therefore its important to never leave a candle lit unattended. Always blow the candle out before leaving the room or house.
  2. If you’re lucky enough to have a fire place in your house, what could be more romantic than snuggling up in front of the fire? However you need to be aware of the hazards of an open fire. Its always a good idea to have a fireguard. Furthermore, keep any flammable materials and pets away from the fire place.
  3. If you like to treat your loved one to a home cooked meal then be sure not to spoil it by burning it! Consider using a timer so you cant forget about your meal in the heat of the moment. Remember to also make sure to turn off the stove/oven when you have finished using it. Also keep any tea towels and flammable material away from a hot stove.
  4. If you want to spoil your partner with the latest gadget. Always buy a genuine product from a reputable retailer. This also includes buying a genuine charger. Many fires are caused by counterfeit/cheap products and chargers as they haven’t undergone thorough safety checks.

Finally, make sure you have a working smoke alarm in your property. Its best to test your smoke alarm weekly to make sure its working and will alert you if a fire occurs. Sometimes fires starting can be out of your control, but a working smoke alarm can be the difference between life and death.

Wishing everyone a lovely Valentines Day with their special someone! Please do not hesitate to contact us HERE for all your electrical needs.

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Electrical DIY – Should you do it yourself?

When it comes to DIY, many people think that it is cheaper to do it themselves not realising the financial and safety implications involved. What can on the outset look like a relatively easy job, could turn out to be far more complex! That is why it is always best to leave it to a qualified, experienced electrician in London.

Below you can check out an infographic that reveals some worrying results about DIY electrics and also to highlight the serious consequences that this can have.

Electrician in Hertfordshire

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E-Cigarette Electrical Safety

The Office for National Statistics recently confirmed that 60% of smokers wish they could give up. Therefore with New Years Resolutions into full swing, many people will be attempting to give up smoking this January.  Some people will go cold turkey, while others might use the alternative of e-cigarettes. Especially with Public Health England stating that e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than regular cigarettes. However are they safe? Especially with reports emerging of them causing fires and injury.

Keeping Your E-Cigarette Safe

We fully support these tips and advice provided by Electrical Safety First:

  1. Don’t leave your e-cigarette charging for a long period of time. According to e-cigarette manufacturers ‘blu’ it should only take 4 hours to fully charge. Overcharging the battery can result in damaging it.
  2. Ensure the charger has the CE mark on it. The CE mark states that it complies with European Safety Standards.
  3. Don’t leave your e-cigarette charging overnight or when you’re not in the house. As if any dangers occurred you would be unaware.
  4. Keep your e-cigarette and batteries stored in a safe place. Any damage could result in them becoming unsafe to use.
  5. Follow the manufacturers instructions carefully. You want to make sure you are using the correct charger voltage to eliminate potential danger.

We also suggest that you only buy genuine chargers, ideally from the manufacturer. Fires are more likely to be caused by fake chargers. Furthermore, they could cause internal damage to the e-cigarette. Making it more likely to explode and injure you in the process.

Electrical Safety First have created this video to highlight the dangers of e-cigarette chargers. You can watch it HERE.

If you have been a using a fake charger, then it would be a good idea to call a qualified and registered electrician to check if any damage has been caused. They’re likely to suggest an EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) which will involve inspecting the wiring in your home to see if any damage has occurred. It is better to be safe than sorry as electrical fires can start unnoticed inside walls.

For any electrical assistance in your home or workplace, speak with your local registered electrician in London and electrician in Hertfordshire or please do not hesitate to contact us HERE.

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Dont Let Electricity Ruin Your Exercise Goals!

The recycling bins are full, cupboards are empty, and my trousers are feeling a little bit too snug for my liking! All the signs that Christmas has well and truly been and gone. Despite the post-Christmas blues, we all ring in the New Year with good intentions of ‘healthy eating’ and ‘regular exercise.’ Therefore if like myself you’ve been brushing the dust off the Cross Trainer, remember to also check that your electrical exercise equipment is still safe to use!

Safety Checks To Follow

  1. Firstly, its a good idea to check the cables are in a satisfactory condition.  The cabling should be intact and not frayed or exposed. Furthermore, check that there is no damage to the plug top.
  2. If your electric exercise equipment has been stored in a damp area, remember to take extra care before re-energising. Shamefully my Cross Trainer has been residing in the Shed for the past couple of years! Therefore, I left it inside for 24-48 hours to dry out before I switched it on.
  3. If you need to clean down the exercise equipment, remember to keep water away from the sockets and power outlets.
  4. Like all electrical equipment, its a good idea to switch the machine off by the socket when not in use.
  5. If you’re looking to purchase electric exercise equipment, always buy from a reputable retailer. The reason for this is because the product would’ve undergone thorough safety checks. Also, the product will come under warranty if a problem occured.
  6. For extra reassurance, you could also get the exercise equipment PAT tested. Click HERE to find out more about Portable Appliance Testing (PAT).

When staying safe with electricity, its important to apply a level of common sense. However if you’re ever unsure then its always best to contact a local, registered and qualified electrician in London and Hertfordshire. Remember to never carry out D.I.Y electrical works!

For all your electrical needs in 2019, contact Fulcher Edwards HERE. Happy New Year everyone!

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Goodbye 2018, and Hello 2019!

 

With less than 2 weeks left of 2018 its hard to believe quite how quick this year has gone! Is it just me, or do the years seems to be going quicker? I always enjoy reflecting on the year and thankfully, its been a consistently good year for Fulcher Edwards! Therefore as this will be the final blog of the year, lets wrap up 2018 as well as share what you can expect from us in 2019!

Firstly, we are pleased to say we passed our BAFE, NICEIC, and SafeContractor audits for another year. Each year these audit accreditations really test us, however they’re well worth the effort! We are pleased to be able to put our name against the BAFE, NICEIC, and SafeContractor logos, as they underpin Fulcher Edwards core values. These accreditations give our new and existing customers that extra guarantee that we will always provide a high level of service.

Marketing is always a key focus for us each year, like every business! However this year we have particularly focused our efforts onto gaining local business. Due to redevelopment within Waterloo station we have had to relocate our offices to St Albans, Hertfordshire. Fulcher Edwards still predominantly works within London, however it would be great to extend our electrician services out to St Albans, Watford, and surrounding areas within Hertfordshire.  Many marketing letters have been sent, blog posts have been written, and social media posts created to promote Fulcher Edwards – electricians in London and Hertfordshire! This will carry on into 2019.

Each year you gain some, and you lose some. We have gained some great customers this year as well as maintain relationships with existing customers. On the other hand, we have unfortunately lost customers due to circumstances beyond their and our control. Sadly we also lost our office dog Mollie earlier this year. You may have seen Mollie on previous social media posts. The FE team greatly miss Mollies wagging tail in the office.

Fulcher Edwards charitable commitment program

Fulcher Edwards also focused its efforts onto fundraising this year. We hosted a Macmillan Cake Sale on our business park back in September and raised £172.65! We also made donations towards #jeansforgenes and will be making our annual donation towards the charity Debra. For the past few years we have decided to save money on buying/sending Christmas cards and instead donate that money to Debra each Christmas.

Looking into 2019, we are getting ourselves ready for the current biggest change in the electrical industry – the 18th edition regulations! We are also looking forward to welcoming a new engineer to the Fulcher Edwards team in January.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The Fulcher Edwards team have their work Christmas party tonight. We’re looking forward to being wined and dined, and raising a glass to another good business year! We would like to say a big thank you to our new and existing customers for your continued support, as well as wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Our doors will be closing at 12pm for Christmas today. They will not re-open until 9am Thursday 3rd January 2019. Please do not hesitate to contact us HERE for all your electrical needs in 2019.

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