Archives for March 2019

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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Emergency Lighting Remedial Works

Following on from last weeks blog post, we thought this week we would discuss remedial works for if your emergency lights do fail during a test.

According to BS EN 1838:2013, Emergency Lights should stay luminated for a minimum of 1 hour. However this does vary between the size and complexity of a premise. For example, 1 hour duration should only be used in premises which can be evacuated immediately. 3 hour duration emergency lights should be used in premises which will not be evacuated immediately e.g. sleeping accommodation. A risk assessment should determine the required duration.

What Are Remedial Works?

Remedial works are required if there is failures in any part of the system during testing. Failures would include; a luminaire completely failing to luminate or not staying luminated for the required duration. A competent person should carry out the repairs to the system. The responsible person of the premises should consider alternative procedures until the system is repaired. Alternative safety procedures could include the following:

  1. Issuing torches to all occupants
  2. Inform occupants to be extra vigilant until the system is repaired
  3. Carry out extra safety patrols
  4. Limit use to parts of the building

The competent person should also update your log book with the repairs which have been carried out. Here at Fulcher Edwards, your local, reliable and trustworthy electricians in London, St Albans and Hertfordshire, we also issue certificates of repairs to show due diligence.

This week we have carried out emergency lighting remedial works in a restaurant in London. Their 3 hour testing highlighted 30 failed luminaires! This could have caused potentially serious visibility issues during the event of an emergency. We hope this emphasises the importance of testing your emergency lights, but also carrying out repairs if necessary.

If you require assistance with the testing of your emergency lights or remedial works then please do not hesitate to contact us HERE.

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School Emergency Lighting Testing

Last week our Electrician Barry spent 2 days carrying out emergency lighting testing in a school in North West London. We carry out maintenance works for a variety of schools across London and Hertfordshire. Our Electricians are DBS checked and can attend during school holidays if preferred.

What is Emergency Lighting?

Emergency lighting is a legal requirement for all businesses and organisations as defined by the Fire Regulatory Reform Order 2005 and British Standards BS 5266 Part 1: 2016 (Code of practice for the emergency lighting of premises) and BS EN 1838.

Emergency lighting is a back–up for when the main power supply cuts out, resulting in darkness. This could present a danger to the occupants of a building. Therefore emergency lights must operate automatically in all circulation areas and escape routes. They must also be adequate for people to see clearly enough to navigate obstacles and find a way out of the building safely.

Emergency Lighting should be inspected and tested at regular intervals. A monthly function test should be carried out in-house or by a professional. A full 3-hour duration test should be carried out annually by a professional. A certificate should also be issued for your records.

Emergency Lighting testing needs to be documented into a logbook. An Emergency lighting logbook provides the facility to record alterations, repairs, maintenance, and inspection and testing of emergency lighting installations. It will also provide details of the certification issued. The maintenance company carrying out the yearly emergency lighting testing should supply you with a logbook.

If you require emergency lighting testing at one of your properties then why not contact us HERE for a free quote? If you choose Fulcher Edwards to carry out your emergency lighting installation or maintenance in St Albans, London and Hertfordshire,  we can provide you with a logbook, certificate for your records and training if required. We can also assist with any remedial works that may be necessary to keep you compliant with British Standards.

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