Archives for FE Maintenance

10 Years of Service at Fulcher Edwards Ltd

Claire Fulcher-Powell Electricians in St Albans, Hertfordshire and London

Claire Fulcher-Powell

Fulcher Edwards Ltd prides itself on being a family business. Our director Michael Fulcher, operates the company alongside his wife and 2 daughters. His eldest daughter, Claire Fulcher-Powell celebrated her 10 years of service with the company on the 1st June! Therefore, in celebration of Claire’s long service with Fulcher Edwards Ltd we thought we would ask Claire a few questions about her time in the company:

Amy: ‘Congratulations on working at Fulcher Edwards for 10 years! What does your role entail?
Claire: ‘Thank you! I am the Operations Manager for the company. Therefore, I am in charge of booking in works, client liaison, ordering materials, and office management. However I am also responsible for all aspects of HR, Health and Safety, and audit management. Its a busy role for sure!’

Amy: ‘Wow it sounds it! What would you say the biggest challenge is of working for the family business?’
Claire: ‘One of the biggest challenge is trying to keep a healthy balance between family and work life. Its important to not always talk about work when spending time as a family! Also, there are higher expectations of you. I also find it difficult not to get emotionally involved with the company. As a family business, you have a personal attachment to it and therefore its hard not to take it personally if things go wrong which are sometimes out of your control.’

Amy: ‘That’s completely understandable. What would you say your greatest achievement has been in the last 10 years?’
Claire: ‘Due to the economic climate, there has been a lot of difficult changes which have happened over the past 10 years. We have lost big clients due to a change in their circumstances, which then massively impacted us! I’m proud to say though that we have always managed to pull through and keep the company running. Also, when I first joined the company I very much created the marketing role. I got Fulcher Edwards onto social media and started looking at ways to further advertise the business. We also got featured in a couple of magazine articles which I was pretty proud of!’

Amy: ‘Yes that is certainly something to be proud of! What is your favourite aspect of your role?’
Claire: ‘Most definitely winning a job and getting new clients! Also receiving positive feedback is really great. It makes all the hard work worthwhile.’

Amy: ‘Okay great. Finally, what’s next for Fulcher Edwards?’
Claire: ‘We’re not 100% sure what lies ahead at the moment, especially with Brexit on the horizon. We have already noticed a slight decline in work due to people being cautious with their money. For this year, I think we have to just batten down the hatches and see what the outcome of Brexit is. I would also like to keep slowly growing the business and gaining more clients in the Hertfordshire area.’

For all your electrical needs, please do not hesitate to contact us HERE.

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Apprenticeships Within The Electrical Industry

 

Electrical apprenticeship in London, Herfordshire and St Albans

Electrical apprenticeship in London, Herfordshire and St Albans

Research conducted by the Electrical Contractors Association (ECA) shows that only 8% of school leavers are being advised to seek apprenticeships! Due to this, employers feel that schools are not preparing students with the correct skill set to pursue an electrotechnical/engineering career.

At Fulcher Edwards Ltd we fully support apprenticeships and have hired a number of apprentices throughout our 38 years of service. Our Managing Director completed a City & Guilds apprenticeship back in 1975 and has been the owner of his own company since 1981. Therefore, it goes to show how far an apprenticeship can take you! Unfortunately, apprenticeships are often perceived as the ‘easy’ and ‘low-paying’ career route.

According to the Electrotechnical Skills Partnership (TESP) over half of employers said that apprentices often had unsatisfactory attitudes, a lack of knowledge, and qualifications. Employers also expressed concerns that schools are not teaching students basic electrical principles within their physics lessons. Furthermore, this lack of electrical theory and knowledge could be discouraging students to pursue a career within the electrical field.

School leavers also appear to be lacking in basic maths skills, oral and written English communication, and having a decent work ethic. Therefore they show a lack of respect to employers through poor timekeeping.

The ECA and TESP are aiming to encourage students into the electrotechnical sector by launching a series of programmes. This will include enhancing the electrical careers website, promoting work experience opportunities, and encouraging industry experts to become part-time lecturers. They aim to close the gap between education and the electrical industry through engagement with employers and local schools.

There is a lack of good candidates applying to train within the sector, therefore its important to start eliminating this stigma surrounding apprenticeships. University is not the route for everyone, and working as an electrician can be a rewarding, fulfilling, and well-paying career. Furthermore, apprenticeships give young people the opportunity to gain work experience, recognised qualifications, and even more importantly to earn some money!

What are your thoughts on apprenticeships? Do you think electrotechnical should be recognised as an academic subject?

If you require any electrical assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us HERE.

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Workplace Fire Training Course

Did you know the Fire Safety Order 2005 (FSO) requires all employers to ensure their staff have received adequate fire safety training? Employees should receive fire safety training during their workplace induction. It is also a requirement that a sufficient amount of staff are trained to carry out an effective evacuation in the event of a fire.

At Fulcher Edwards Ltd we offer a workplace fire training course to all businesses.  This course is ideal for nominated employees to act as fire wardens in their workplace. The two hour course covers both emergency and non-emergency aspects of the role. All attendees will come away with an appropriate level of knowledge to carry out this role safely and effectively.

The workplace fire training course is ideal for those appointed as fire wardens, or for those who are responsible for implementing and developing a fire evacuation procedure.

What Does The Course Cover?

Please see the course programme outlined below:

Aims & Objectives
Legal Obligations
Understanding Fire
Means of Escape
Fire Protection in the Workplace
Fire Routines, Powerpoint and DVD Presentation
Short Comfort
Break
Emergency Role of a Fire Warden
Non-emergency Role of a Fire Warden
The Emergency Plan
Fire Fighting Equipment
Practical Fire Equipment Demonstration
Q&A

As you can see from the course programme, the course is highly detailed and will provide a sufficient level of knowledge to all attendees. On completion of the course we will issue certification within 7 days of our visit.

We allow up to 15 attendees per 2 hour session. However, if you are a larger company we can conduct two sessions within the same day.

It is important to take fire safety seriously, as a fire can have serious and deadly consequences. Furthermore, if the ‘responsible person’ within your business doesnt follow fire safety regulations, they could be fined or imprisoned.

If you would like to find out further information with regards to our Workplace Fire Training Course in London, Hertfordshire and St Albans, 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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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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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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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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BAFE and Fire Safety in Your Business

Fire alarm maintenance is one of the many services we provide at Fulcher Edwards Ltd. Furthermore, we have proudly been BAFE accredited for the past 3 years. Though how many of you are aware of what BAFE is? BAFE are the independent registration body for third party certified fire protection companies across the UK. Through regular audits and thorough inspections they ensure that companies providing fire protection services are competent and meeting quality standards. You can find your local BAFE registered company here.

Therefore, with all this in mind it is a good idea to contact BAFE registered companies when requiring fire protection services at your premises. Many insurance companies are now insisting their clients only use companies with BAFE accreditation. So now you know what BAFE is, but are you aware of the fire safety responsibilities in your company? Take a read below to find out!

Fire Safety Responsibilities In Your Company

  1. Firstly, ensure there is a responsible person for fire safety on the premises. The responsible person can either be an employee who is appointed to the role, or alternatively it falls to the employer/person who controls the premises.
  2. The responsible person should carry out a fire risk assessment of the premises. The fire risk assessment will highlight precautions and actions which need to put into place, these assessments should be recorded and regularly reviewed. Especially if the building layout changes.
  3. Ensure there is appropriate fire fighting equipment on the premises. E.g. Fire extinguishers, fire blankets, etc.
  4. There should be an adequate amount of fire alarms/smoke detectors on the premises. Regular maintenance of the alarms/detectors is important to ensure they are working correctly at all times. The responsible person can carry out weekly tests on the fire alarm call points. They should do this by triggering a different call point each week to sound the alarms, and then recording this test for due diligence. Furthermore, a company which carries out fire alarm maintenance can test the alarms every 6 months. This will be a thorough test of the whole system and the engineers will also carry out battery maintenance on the alarms. An alarms battery should be able to stay in standby for 24 hours and then ring constantly for 30 minutes without failing.
  5. Emergency exits out of the building which all members of staff are aware of.  Emergency exits should be illuminated with emergency lights and the running man exit signs. Furthermore, a company such as Fulcher Edwards can install the emergency lights and maintain them for you.

If you would like further guidance and details on fire safety responsibility in your premises, it would be worth reading the Regulatory Reform Order (FSO) 2005. The FSO is the legislation for fire safety in non-domestic premises in the UK.

Please do not hesitate to contact us here if you would like further guidance on fire alarm maintenance, emergency lighting maintenance, and all other electrical services.

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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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