Posts tagged “Electrical safety”

It’s difficult to identify counterfeit electrical products, just by looking at them. 
 
The problem is growing as more products are bought online. Some online sellers are misleading shoppers with images taken from official product sites and fake official safety marks. They are often priced only slightly lower than the recommended retail price to avoid suspicion. 
There are some things in the home that we just take for granted. The humble three pin plug and socket are amongst them. 
The new Wiring Regulations have introduced changes that focus on surge protection to help improve safety in our homes and commercial premises. 
 
An electrical surge, or ‘transient overvoltage’, is a brief voltage peak between two or more conductors. A surge can be just a few volts or thousands of volts. 
1. Outdoor lighting fixtures 
Insultation can melt in poorly installed outdoor electrical fittings, leading to a short circuit. You might then have to change your entire distribution board. 
2. Circuit breakers for outdoor sockets 
Because of the risk of exposure to water, outdoor sockets should have a circuit breaker. Without this you are risking electric shocks and fire. 
3. Bathrooms and kitchens 
Sockets, light switches and other electric installations in wet environments can be risky. If you are planning a bathroom or kitchen renovation, make sure a qualified electrician inspects the wiring. 
We often visit offices where computers, printers, screens, scanners, lamps, smartphones and other chargers are all plugged into overloaded sockets and boards. 
 
If you’re working with overloaded electrical circuits you can be running the risk of electrocution or fire. 
The Millennial* generation is especially keen to tackle an ambitious range of do-it-yourself (DIY) jobs, ranging from changing a light fitting to complete house extensions.  
 
Around one in five say they will happily tackle electrical wiring at home
Here’s a 30 second video about the potential electrical dangers that can be hidden in a home. It's produced by the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC). 
‘Fuse box’ or ‘fuse board’ are old-fashioned names for the modern electrical consumer units used in domestic properties. 
 
In older properties these fuse boxes could have remained untouched since they were installed many years ago. Even if there haven’t been any electrical problems, these older units might not be safe. 
Jim Lockhart of MSE remembers a major project to rewire a heritage building. “We had to be so careful with everything we did. It was important to preserve the integrity of the building and to meet modern electrical standards. In one room we had to safely cover wiring in fabric to match the room.” 
Old electrical wiring
While we’re planning to eat more healthy food, get fit and sleep more, spare a thought for the things you can do to improve electrical safety at home this year. 
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