ELECTRICAL  ADVICE

We've put together some information to help you keep your home safe. So, if you're after a bit of electrical advice, but don't necessarily want to chat, then bookmark this page.

Please note, if you're concerned about the safety of your wiring, My Electrics can carry out a FREE extended visual inspection on your home.

PLUGS AND CABLES

Checking your plugs and cables is crucial in maintaining a safe home. A worn cord can emit heat, quickly setting fire to combustible surfaces. We recommend that you check plugs and cables regularly, as they can be damaged with frequent use.

FOLLOW THESE SIMPLE STEPS:

• Remove the plug from the socket
• Has the cable come away from the appliance or the plug?
• Is there any damage to the wire (has insulating tape been used)?

Now check the plug:

  • Is there damage to the plastic casing?

  • Has it overheated? You'll be able to tell if the cable or casing is discoloured

  • Does the plug meet British Standard BS 1363 (if it does, you'll find it marked on the back)

  • Check that's there's no wiring showing at the base of the plug

THERE ARE OVER 37,000 HOUSE FIRES

A YEAR IN THE UK CAUSED BY ELECTRICAL 

EQUIPMENT

EXTENSION LEADS

Where possible your appliances should be plugged directly into a socket. We would only recommend extension cords as a temporary measure.

In some cases using an extension lead is unavoidable, mainly when using lamps or other appliances that have short cords.

If you have to use one, make sure you're aware of the following:

  • Damaged or tangled cables

  • Overusing multi-way adapters or adapter blocks can significantly increase the risk of fire

  • If you have to use an extension cable, use one which you bought ready-assembled

  • Always check that extension leads and plugs are undamaged

  • If you're using an extension lead that has to cross a room, cover it with a rubber

    protector strip.

Overloading sockets

  • Did you know that there are a reported 20,000 household fires in the UK every year and claim the lives of 60 to 70 people?

  • Our modern homes are full of appliances that have the potential to become hazards, especially when we start to plug them all into one socket.

  • Many of us will use a 4-way bar adapter to plug in such things as our phone charger, the stereo, a kettle or a toaster, etc. Whatever we plug in, we assume that because there's space, it's safe.

  • That's not always true.

ELECTRICAL OVERLOADS LEAD TO POWER SURGES WHICH DAMAGE 

APPLIANCES & CAUSE FIRES

RESIDUAL CURRENT DEVICE

Or an RCD for short. These are designed to prevent you from receiving a fatal electric shock, should you touch something live like a bare wire.

As well as potentially saving your life, an RCD can also provide some protection against electrical fires.

FIXED RCDs

As you'd expect, a fixed RCD provides the highest level of protection as it protects every socket on a circuit, as well as the wiring, including any connected appliances. Fixed RCDs are 97% reliable.

SOCKET- OUTLET RCDs

These special socket-outlets have an RCD built into them. Please note, this type of RCD will only protect the person in contact with the equipment that's plugged into the RCD socket-outlet.

PORTABLE RCDs

These will plug into any standard socket-outlet, and in turn, you can then plug the appliance into the portable RCD. Again, these portable RCDs will only protect the person in contact with the equipment that's connected into the RCD socket-outlet.

To ensure your whole family are safe, we can install a fixed RCD for you. Contact us for a quote.

300 DEATHS AND 4000 INJURIES A YEAR ARE CAUSED BY ELECTRICAL HAZARDS, RESULTING IN ELECTROCUTION

ELECTRICAL DIY

A staggering 50% of men admit that before they call in a professional, they feel they should at least try and tackle household DIY jobs and repairs.

Hands up if you've accidentally drilled through a wire while putting up some shelves? Or you've repaired an electrical item without disconnecting the power? Exactly.

Follow our tips for keeping safe while doing that 'simple' electrical DIY job:

  • Always locate cables in your wall. How many times have you heard of someone drilling into a cable hidden inside the wall? To make sure you don't fall foul of this - buy a cable detector that can help you to track buried cables before you start work.

  • Use an RCD (residual current device) as this will cut off the power in the event of a DIY blunder. The best use of an RCD is a fitted one to your fusebox (consumer unit) - contact us for more information.

  • Don't forget to turn off the power if you're doing any work near electrical wiring or power supplies. If you're doing work around electrical wiring or sockets, it might be an idea to use battery-operated tools.

  • Always check for faulty plugs and leads on your power tool appliances. (anchored to plugs and cables).

  • If you're unsure about anything - contact us. We're always ready to help!

 

OVER 70% OF ELECTRICAL INJURIES ARE CAUSED BY ELECTRICAL DIY

SAFETY IN THE KITCHEN & BATHROOM

It's a fact that water and electricity don't mix, yet, our kitchens have never been so chock full of electrical appliances.

Here are a few handy tips about taking the necessary precautions with the electrics in your kitchen:

  • Don't leave dishwashers or washing machines unattended when they're running through their cycle

  • Use our plug and cable advice to check that all your appliances are in good order

  • Never clean or try to repair a machine when it's still plugged in

  • Don't stick a knife in the toaster to set free a trapped piece of toast - especially when it's plugged in!

  • Keep your oven and grill clean. A build-up of fat and grease is a major cause of household fires

Electricity in the bathroom isn't welcome! In the UK, the only sockets permitted in the bathroom are shaver-supply units, unless outlets are at least three meters from a water supply.

We recommend that electrical showers are supplied by an individual circuit direct from your consumer unit.

We don't recommend bringing radios, hairdryers or heaters into the bathroom. Keep it simple; keep it safe.

 

THE BATHROOM

IS THE MOST DANGEROUS PLACE IN THE HOUSE FOR

ELECTRICITY

CARING FOR THE ELDERLY

According to the office of National Statistics, those aged 60 and over are nearly ten times more likely to die in a fire, in comparison to someone aged between 17 - 24.

Several factors contribute to these damning statistics. It can often be down to substandard living conditions, which sadly over one million people above the age of 75 currently experience. There can also be issues with ageing electrics, that haven't been checked regularly. Given that more and more older people are living with dementia and mobility issues, this is a genuine issue.

Despite these risks, 80% of people in the UK remain unconcerned about electrical safety in the homes of their elderly relatives. Perhaps more condemning is that 75% of people in the UK have never helped their elderly relatives have their electrics checked over by an electrician.

You can buck that trend. If you're concerned about your elderly relative or friend and you'd like us to undertake an Extended Installation Condition Report (EICR) , then contact us today.

 

THOSE AGED 60 ACCOUNT FOR OVER 70% OF HOUSE FIRE FATALITIES

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