Electrical safety: Do’s and Dont’s

Electricity is a universal energy that surrounds us and one that we interact with every day. Most of the time we take it for granted and only notice it when it’s absent; like in a power cut. What most of us lose sight of is just how dangerous electricity is. Government statistics show that faulty appliances and leads were the cause of over 4,000 fires in 2017/18. These numbers are showing a gradual decline, but the point of this article is to help drive down these numbers further to safeguard the people of Warwick and Stratford upon Avon.

Do’s

Do frequently inspect sockets and plugs for signs of scorching or any crackling noises. If blowing a fuse is a regular occurrence, you should contact a certified electrician.

Do purchase your electrical appliances from a trustworthy vendor and follow the manual to the letter when using them.

Do prevent the build-up of lint and dust behind your fridge and freezer ensuring there’s enough space around the appliance so air can circulate.

Do make sure your oven and hob are spotless to prevent food particles and fat catching fire.

Dont’s

Don’t leave any appliances on when you’re asleep or away from home that is not essential, like the fridge and freezer, for instance.

Don’t overload dishwashers, tumble dryers or washing machines. It leads to wear and tear and an unnecessary fire risk.

Don’t position your fridge or freezer in too close proximity to an oven. Your white goods will have to work overtime to keep cool.

Don’t ignore any potential electrical fault. At the first sign of deterioration, you should stop using the appliance or socket and call a qualified electrician to inspect the problem.

Electrical safety has a lot to do with common sense. By following these simple steps, you will help to keep you and your family safe. If you live in Warwick or Stratford upon Avon and you have any concerns about your electrics, contact us at 007 Electricians for a professional and reliable electrical service.

What is Periodic Testing?

If there is one fact that every electrician knows it’s that any electrical appliance or installation will begin to display signs of wear and tear over time. Therefore, if you own a business in Rugby or Coventry, it’s essential that regular inspections are carried out to ensure the electrical items on your property are safe and usable. Landlords and business owners are required by several government acts and regulations to ensure testing is performed, while homeowners are advised to have their homes tested every five years.

What does the Law say?

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 commands that all employers and employees must work to secure the safety of everyone in the workplace, including any visitors. The Management of Health and Safety Work Regulations 1999 is intended solely for employers and requires them to conduct risk assessments to ensure the safety of the workplace and employees. The British Standard BS 7671 is a document that outlines the standards required for electrical installation in the United Kingdom.

These are the chief laws that cover Periodic Testing, and they require businesses to undertake an inspection every five years. Landlords are bound by the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations to carry out testing every five years.

Who can conduct Periodic Testing?

Any qualified and registered electrician will be suitable to conduct testing of your fuse box and all electrical installations. Afterwards, you will receive an Electrical Installation Condition Report that will advise whether or not they have passed and if not, what work will be required to get them up to code.

If you own a business or rented property in Rugby or Coventry, give our knowledgeable sales team a call to learn more about our competitive rates.

The importance of using a registered electrician

When you hire an electrician, do you check that they are registered or do you rely on word of mouth and recommendations from people you know? If you hire an unregistered electrician, you run the risk of them installing electrical appliances incorrectly and leaving you with a potentially dangerous situation. The people that you hire for any electrical work in your home or business need to be experienced and skilled in working with electricity to ensure they complete the job safely.

What credentials should an electrician hold?

You should check if they are a member of the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contraction (NICEIC). NICEIC is a voluntary body that that provides certification and advice for electrical contractors. If a contractor completes sub-standard work, then you can refer to NICEIC to register a complaint.

You should also ensure that they work to the BS7671 standard, which is referred to in the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. Try to find out how often they have their work assessed and perhaps most critically, that they are insured, so you have full protection in case of any problems.

How to find a registered electrician?

Any electrician that is a member of a voluntary body, is backed by a government approved scheme or has full public liability cover should make this prominent on their website. There are also several registers that are available online to help you find competent and qualified electricians in Kenilworth and Leamington Spa.

007 Electricians are NICEIC approved contractor that can undertake any electrical odd jobs or installations. If you live in Kenilworth or Leamington Spa and you need a tried and tested contractor, give our team a call.

Electrical Repair issues You shouldn’t ignore

When dealing with the safety of your home and loved ones, things cannot be taken for granted, especially when considering electrical repair issues. When we look at the commercial setting, one needs to be conscious of a safe working environment for both workers and visitors. To be liable for an accident would be distressing at best and could end up in court at worst. Here are some electrical repair issues you shouldn’t ignore.

Circuit Breaker problem & Buzzing Outlets
Circuits are designed to prevent overloading but when a fuse is overloaded with many appliances, it can cause problems. If your appliances trip occasionally try plugging them into another outlet, however, if you are experiencing problems more frequently arrange a circuit inspection to detect any underlying issues.

A buzzing sound can signal a loose switch, wire or outlet. Repair or replace the outlet immediately, but if this continues call a professionally qualified electrician for an inspection.

Ceiling Fixtures
Sometimes ceiling fixtures are not properly insulated, so ask a professional electrician to consider the maximum wattage acceptable to avoid overheating (which can cause sparking / lead to a fire hazard). Inspect wiring too, this is a very common flashpoint.

Burning smell & Flickering
Burning smells and flickering can occur due to loose switches, defective bulbs or faulty wires. NICEIC Electricians are fully qualified to diagnose these issues so set up a survey if in any doubt.

Prevent your home from household electrical fires

There are numerous reasons for household electrical problems at home and these problems can bring serious injuries / electrical fires if homeowners don’t take them seriously. Follow these safety steps to help keep your home free of electrical hazards and fires.

Start with the basics
Electrical outlets are one of the most important components in the electrical system of our home so they require more care and attention. If anything goes wrong with these outlets, i.e. become loose or damaged there can be a chance of an electrical fire. There are cases where the electrical outlet sparks frequently and some people ignore these sparks. You do so at your peril as they can cause serious damage / electric fires. Homeowners should call the certified electrician and should ask for professional advice with even the smallest of doubts.

Heat-producing appliances
Heat producing appliances are also another cause of electrical fires as heat produced from these appliances can potentially ignite materials surrounding them. To prevent a home from these types of fires, homeowners should keep all materials well away from any source of heat or electricity. All heating appliances have been upgraded in the past few years, but inevitably there are still some homeowners in the UK using older heating appliances, which have fewer fire prevention features. In these cases homeowners should consider upgrading their heating appliances to modern ones with better safety and energy efficiency characteristics.

Electrical inspection
In addition to the situations mentioned above there can be other reasons which are best detected and explained by a professional electrician. So every homeowner should get a home inspection from a certified electrician at regular intervals. Prevention is always better than cure, especially when your house is on the line.

Some risks in doing electrical work at home by yourself

Being in the business for many years, we have noticed that whenever people have a situation where their electrical system failed, or has become potentially dangerous, they sometimes try to repair it themselves. What we want to highlight today is the dangers involved unless you are a qualified electrician. Saving money should never be a factor as you may be risking your life or your families life by not being professionally qualified. Consider the following:

Risks in DIY

(1). Electrical fires: Hundreds of electrical fires in the UK are caused by electricity, and the major cause behind these fires is a fault in switches, electrical appliances and outdated appliances.
Homeowners should avoid handling electrical problems and call a certified (NICEIC Electrician) professional for repairs. Light fixtures and outdated wiring are also common reasons for electrical fires at home.
(2). Minor or major injuries (life at risk): Doing electrical repairs by yourself can risk life or at best give a shock. Not doing it properly can cause some serious injury to an individual, or to the property itself. Experienced electricians can handle electrical repairs or installation because they spend time learning and practicing the safety standards of the professional associations.

(3). Property Damage: Fire may spread immediately and can damage part or all of a property. In some cities, insurance companies don’t pay for any damage unless the work has been certified.

What if something goes wrong?
Working with electricity is always risky so one shouldn’t do any electrical work unless they have the knowledge and skills to do so. You simply cannot put a price on a human life so always consult an expert.

Avoiding electrical emergencies and accidents

It’s true that in the century or so since homes first began to be electrified, safety around electrical current has improved a great deal. However, we need to remember that despite circuit breakers, earthed plug sockets, and other built in safety measures, electricity remains dangerous and electrical systems and appliances need to be used with care. Continue reading