This week is Electrical Fire Safety Week which is a great initiative promoted by Electrical Safety First. They work closely with the Home Office and Fire and Rescue services across the UK to help raise awareness on the dangers of electrical fires. Statistics they have collected show that “over half of all accidental house fires are caused by electricity. And nine out of ten electrical fires are caused by electrical products.”
At Fulcher Edwards we also consider ourselves to be advocates for electrical safety and put it at the forefront of what we do. Therefore we would like to share with you our tips and advice on how to stay electrically safe at home and in the office!
PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) ensures your electrical items are safe to use. A PAT testing engineer will carry out visual inspections and tests to confirm the safety of the items. PAT testing should be carried out annually and is particularly important in the workplace or if you’re a Landlord.
The British Standards recommended that all homeowners have an EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) maximum every 10 years. Offices or rented accommodation should be every 5 years. EICRs establish how safe the electrics are in your building and will identify any potential hazards which could cause a fire. Following the electrician carrying out a thorough investigation, you will receive a report and recommendations which will keep your home in optimum electrical safety.
We always recommend RCD (Residual Current Device) protection to our customers. If you currently have no RCD protection, this will form as one of the recommendations in the report following your EICR. RCDs are a sensitive switching device that quickly turns off electricity when danger arises to reduce the risk of death or serious injury. RCDs turn off electricity in a fraction of a second and are far quicker and reliable than breakers and fuses.
Quality workmanship is all part of our service here at Fulcher Edwards. We are NICEIC registered electricians which means we will always be compliant to the highest standards of Part P building regulations. If you use an NICEIC registered electrician, you will be sure of a safe standard of work from a person who takes genuine pride in what they do.
Other things to consider:
- Always turns off electrical items when not in use! If an item if plugged into a socket, turn the socket off and remove the plug to be extra safe.
- Don’t overload your sockets or extensions leads. We understand that its unrealistic to have a plug socket for each item, however just be aware of putting to many high voltage items in one extension lead as this could result in a fire. Electrical Safety First have a brilliant interactive socket calculator which can be found here.
- Carry out visual checks. If any cables, sockets, or plugs appear faulty or damaged it is best to contact an electrician.
- Following on from last weeks blog about counterfeit items, always ensure you’re purchasing legit electrical items. A counterfeit may have not undergone thorough safety checks and therefore it could be faulty or possibly even deadly! Some products will also have the BSI Kitemark on them which is the recognised symbol for quality and safety.
- Its always a good idea to not carry out electrical D.I.Y. A simple job which goes wrong could ultimately cause severe and expensive damage. Or even worse it could cause a fire. Therefore it is always best to contact a qualified and registered electrician.
- If worst comes to worst and a fire does start within your home, make sure your fire alarm is working! We always recommend you check your fire alarms weekly to ensure they’re still working correctly.