Archives for May 2019

Mental Health Awareness Week

This week is mental health awareness week. Mental health is a subject particularly close to my heart, and everyone can suffer with mental health issues. Generating more awareness of mental health helps eliminate the stigma which constantly surrounds it.

The Electrical Industries Charity (EIC) provide support and advice to those who work in the electrical industry. On their website they have a mental health calendar where they focus on key tops which could affect your mental health. They also offer mental health awareness training, and mental health first aider training. According to the EIC, 1 in 4 people are now diagnosed with a mental health disorder. There is also alarming rates of attempted suicide.

Signs and Symptoms

Early intervention is extremely important when diagnosing a mental health disorder. The EIC recommend you be aware of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Exhausted and tearful
  • Frequent headaches and stomach upsets
  • Change in sociability
  • Less confident and disinterested in life
  • Poor performance or time-keeping at work
  • Moody or uncommunicative at work

This is only to name a few, and signs and symptoms can vary depending on the individual and disorder. You can find out more HERE.

Improving Your Mental Wellbeing

  1. Relax – Life can be hectic, however amongst the chaos its important to take some time out for yourself. Whether that be going for a walk, reading a book, or catching up on your favourite TV programme, its important to switch off sometimes. Meditation is also supposed to be very beneficial for your mental health. Apps such as Headspace and Calm are highly recommended when beginning meditation.
  2. Exercise – Being active is hugely beneficial to your overall wellbeing. The release of endorphins helps improve your mood, and also decreases stress levels. Not all of us enjoy exercising, however it can be as simple as going for a walk or a bike ride. I personally find that getting fresh air really helps clear my mind. With exercise classes such as Zumba, Clubbercise, and BOUNCE, exercise can be a lot of fun! Need exercise which is low impact on your joints? Try swimming, yoga, or walking.
  3. Healthy Lifestyle – Your overall lifestyle contributes to your mental health. Having a healthy diet, plenty of sleep, and exercising can all have a positive impact. However we all have the odd late night, drink to much alcohol, or overindulge in chocolate and takeaways. This is nothing to feel guilty about, life is all about balance at the end of the day!
  4. Socialise – Socialising with friends and family is extremely important. One of the biggest causes of depression is loneliness. Therefore do make time for others in your life, as talking alone can be really beneficial when you are feeling upset or anxious. If you are feeling lonely and have nobody you can confide in, Mind have helplines you can get in contact with. They can also suggest local groups where you could meet new people.  A pet can also be a great companion.
  5. Hobbies – Starting a new hobby or learning a new skill can be perfect at taking your mind off things. Hobbies help you focus on the task ahead, and you get the satisfaction of learning something new or creating something from scratch.

Getting Help

We are by no means mental health professionals, however we know how difficult life can be at times. If you’re struggling then make sure to confide in a friend, family member, or even a work colleague. It is also important to seek help from a health care professional. Your doctor can provide you with advice, and also offer counselling or medication if required. Mental health is alarmingly common and there really is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about.

If you or someone you love is suffering with a mental health disorder, Mind list several helplines HERE where you can gain support and advice for various issues.

At Fulcher Edwards Ltd, electricians in St Albans, we always encourage good mental health and like to eliminate any pressure from our clients. If we can provide any electrical support or advice then please do not hesitate to contact us HERE.

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Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)

Last week we carried out our annual Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) on the business park where we are based. Whether you are a landlord, tenant, homeowner, or employer, appliance testing is relevant to us all. Consider all the different types of appliances you use in your everyday life, and that majority of electric shock fatalities are due to faulty appliances.

What is Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)?

PAT involves visual inspections and electronic tests being carried out on electrical appliances to ensure they’re safe for use and conform to Electricity at Work Regulations. PAT applies to all electrical equipment connected by a plug and socket-outlet.

The inspection will involve the following checks:
1) connections inside a plug are correct and secure
2) the fuse inside a plug is of the correct rating
3) no bare wires are visible other than at the terminals inside the plug and appliance
4) There is no sign of internal damage, overheating or entry of liquid, dust or dirt

Who can carry out my PAT testing?

Electrical Safety First recommends that PAT testing is carried out by a PAT competent engineer, or by an electrician that is registered with an industry recognised accreditation like NICEIC. You can find a local, registered electrician HERE.

The competent person carrying out the testing will use a portable appliance test instrument (pictured above) to check the electrical condition of the appliances. Once testing is complete, you should be supplied with a certificate, and asset register. This is your proof that testing has been carried out, and all items are agreed to be safe. If any of your items fail the testing, the engineer should make you aware of this. Furthermore, electrical appliances which have failed testing should be kept out of use until they are repaired/replaced.

Is PAT testing a legal requirement?

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) legislation states that all employers have a legal obligation to maintain all electrical equipment. Furthermore, many insurance companies now request that PAT testing is carried out. If you are a landlord, as part of the Landlord and Tenancy Act 1985, you are required to ensure that all appliances you supply are safe for continued use. As mentioned above, we all use a number of electrical appliances in our everyday life. Therefore its important to make sure they’re safe! We recommend annual portable appliance testing.

If you would like PAT testing carried out on your premises in St Albans, London or Hertfordshire or would like to find out more information, please do not hesitate to contact us HERE.

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Lighting Design Ideas For Your Home

We spend majority of our free time at home, and our homes lighting can have more of an impact than you think on our emotional and physical wellbeing. Therefore its important your homes aesthetics and lighting are to your taste. Below we provide lighting design advice for the different rooms in your home.

The KitchenLiving room lighting design and installation in London, St Albans and Hertfordshire

The kitchen is often referred to as the heart of the home, and good lighting is vital for food preparation.  Depending on the layout of your kitchen, under-cabinet lights are ideal for lighting up your worktops when preparing food. A beautiful chandelier or swanky pendant lighting works well over an island or kitchen table. LED spotlights can provide even lighting to other areas within your kitchen. Alternatively, LED strip or rope lighting can create a more modern design. Cool white lighting creates a crisp and modern ambience, which is ideal for social and stimulating environments such as the kitchen.

The Living Room

The living room is often the cosiest room within the house and therefore its important for the lighting to create a relaxing ambience. Wall lights, floor lamps, table lamps, and spotlights all work well within the living room. Directional spotlights are perfect for focussing in on photos or art work which you may have hanging on the wall. Floor lamps are ideal for lighting up reading chairs. We always recommend having lighting on a dimmer, then you can adjust as required. If you would like a more modern feel to the standard dimmer switch, you could have a lighting control panel installed instead. Warm white lights produce a yellow glow which creates a relaxing and cosy atmosphere.

The Bedroom

Similarly to the living room, we want our bedrooms to evoke feelings of relaxation, especially before bedtime. Therefore dimmers should definitely be a consideration. You can have your lights turned up brightly when getting ready in the evening, and dimmed when winding down for bed. Bedside table lamps and wall lights are perfect around your bed as reading lights. We recommend having spotlights above your wardrobes in order to effectively light up your clothes when choosing an outfit. If you have a large bedroom, a chandelier or pendant light in the centre of the room can be a nice feature. Once again, warm white lights are ideal for this type of environment.

Bathroom lighting design and installation in London, St Albans and HertfordshireThe Bathroom

Neutral white lighting is ideal for brightening up your bathroom. Spotlights work well to provide even lighting throughout the bathroom. Vanity lighting over a bathroom sink and mirror could also provide a nice feature. Make sure your shower is well lit with recessed lighting overhead. Larger bathrooms could benefit from having a small chanderlier or pendant light, especially over the bathtub. If you have an en-suite bathroom, make sure the lighting coordinates well with the bedroom lighting.

Hallway/Staircase

We all admire those houses with a grand staircase and large chandelier hanging overhead. If your house is large enough then a chandelier can be a great feature. However if chandeliers aren’t your style or your house is of a smaller size, stair wall lights can provide a modern and stylish feel. Furthermore, you can continue the stair wall lights throughout your upstairs hallway. Ceiling spotlights and wall lights are perfect in hallways for evenly lighting up the path. If you have furniture within your hallways, then you could utilise these by putting table lamps on top. If you have a variety of different lighting you can then adjust to the type of ambience you would like. Neutral white lighting also works well within the hallway and staircase.

We don’t class ourselves as interior designers, however we do happen to know a thing or two about lighting! One of our friendly electricians would be more than happy to provide lighting design ideas and tips for your property during a site visit. LED lamps are the ‘fashion’ nowadays, they’re also energy efficient, last longer, and are cheaper to maintain. As mentioned above, we also recommend dimmer switches or panels as its provides you with flexibility for your lighting.

Please do not hesitate to contact us HERE if you would like us to assist you with the lighting design in your property.

Interested in lighting up your garden? Take a read of one of our previous blog posts HERE where we provide advice on garden lighting design.

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