Maintenance Services Electrical - News & Information
Gate Safety Week takes place from 9 to 15 October and has been set up to raise awareness of the importance of using properly qualified professionals to install and maintain powered gates.
'Safe Gates Save Lives' - Gate Safety Week 2017
Many more domestic and commercial properties now have powered and automated gates.
They can be very convenient and efficient. Unfortunately poorly installed and maintained powered gates can be dangerous and even lead to deaths. An installer has been found guilty of manslaughter this month at Norwich Crown Court.
You can see more on Twitter at @gatesafetyweek or lookout for #gatesafetyweek.
How much energy could you save? There’s an app for that.
You will soon be able to receive bills and statements breaking down electricity consumption for your appliances, sent directly to an app on your smartphone.
Smart meters already help you to understand your energy consumption, but they don’t tell you how much you could save if you turned off your electric blanket or installed LED lights.
According to studies in America, this type of information encourages people to change their behavior to manage bills and cut their carbon footprint. On average home electricity consumption is reduced by 12%.
Triple Ohm, from 42 Technology, can provide this information by monitoring the changes in the high frequency current of your power supply that are caused when different appliances are used. It can then calculate energy consumption per device in real time and display the information on an energy monitor or your smartphone app.
So you will soon be able to see how much leaving a television on standby or old kitchen appliances are costing you.
Triple Ohm is being developed to integrate with a new generation of smart meters for domestic and commercial properties. 42 Technology claims that it can tell the difference between a vacuum cleaner with an empty bag and a less energy efficient one that needs its bag changing.
Feel bright in smart light
We all know that we feel better if we go outside for some fresh air and daylight. Now there’s increasing interest in providing smart lighting solutions indoors that can give us some of the benefits of being outdoors. Like daylight, intelligent artificial lighting can help our body clock to function and support our natural rhythms, especially in the workplace and educational settings. Bright light in the morning can help us to feel alert, for example. Dimmer lighting in libraries can create a calm atmosphere that is good for learning.
Modern new lights can be controlled using sensors that know when people are in the room and what time of day it is. Light temperature can be subtly varied too. Using control panels lighting can be tailored for specific tasks. They can also optimise energy use.
Food for thought
A busy and popular local pub and restaurant is a favourite for MSE Christmas parties. When a tripping fault affected the kitchen distribution board at peak time on a Sunday it was a major problem.
We attended within an hour to get them back up and running. Part of the problem was a single residual current device (RCD) controlling the kitchen electrics (top right).
We installed a new board (bottom right) containing a residual current breaker with overload protection (RCBO) that combines the functions of a master circuit board and an RCD in one unit. The RCBO has individual trips, so now a fault will now only affect the relevant circuit.
Happy manager, happy chefs, happy customers.
For electrical installations in commercial kitchens…
Check the amp rating of any equipment you plan to buy against the amp rating and current use of the electrical circuit you will use.
This is important to make sure you will have enough power and to avoid constantly tripping the circuit breaker.
We will be happy to give you advice, just give us a call.
Improve safety as part of your renovation project
If you’re planning a renovation project, it’s an ideal time to improve home safety too. Wired and interlinked smoke and heat alarms with reliable back-up power can be easily added to your rewiring plans. They can cost as little as £1 per year to run and they could save lives.
Alarms can be powered from nearby lighting circuits and be interconnected by wifi. Include wired or powered carbon monoxide (CO) alarms to protect the whole home.
The flammable materials in cabling can help to spread fires between rooms, under floors and above ceilings. If badly installed or faulty, cabling can even cause fires.
To help designers and installers take account of the role of cabling in fires, the European Construction Products Regulations (CPR) now apply to cabling for permanent use in all types of buildings.
Any of the cables included in the CPR classifications can be used, but designers and installers must choose the appropriate category for the planned use. They must think about the fire risks and ease of evacuation for each installation.
To show that they are meeting these requirements, your electrical designers and installers should have a declaration of performance (DoP) reference number for the cabling they use. Manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers are legally required to keep records for 10 years after the sale so that products can be traced.
Risks of electricity at work
A wide range of voltages can cause electrical injuries at work, depending on the circumstances. The risk of injury is generally greater with higher voltages and depends on the circumstances.
While a shock from static electricity when you get out of a car or walk across a synthetic carpet can be more than 10,000 volts it is unlikely to do harm because it is so brief. However, static electricity can cause a fire or explosion where there is an explosive atmosphere. This could include paint spray booths, near fuel tanks, in sumps, or places where there are aerosols, vapours, mists, gases or dusts.
What can happen if you receive an electric shock
As little as 50 volts across two parts of your body will cause a current to flow that can block electrical signals between your brain and muscles. This could affect your heartbeat or breathing or cause muscle spasms. Muscle spasms are not only painful, they can be strong enough to break bones or dislocate joints. Electrical current passing through your body will heat the tissue and can result in deep burns.
Regular inspection and maintenance of your electrical equipment and installations by a qualified professional is important for your protection.
For more information see the Health and Safety Executive website.
At the beginning of this month we had a busy few days fabricating trunking systems for one of our long-standing customers.
Trunking encloses and protects electrical cables. It normally has a square or rectangular cross-section and a removable side as you can see in our picture on the right.
Trunking is a flexible solution for industrial and commercial premises when used with conduits to your equipment. When an alteration or extension is needed it’s easy to drill a hole in the side of the trunking and run a conduit to a new point. The new wiring can then be drawn through the conduit and the existing trunking to an electricity supply point.
There’s an important ratio of the space needed for all the cables in a conduit or trunking in releation to the whole enclosed space. It’s called ‘the space factor’; cables must not fill more than 45% of the space enclosed by the trunking.
Where an installation comprises a mixture of low-voltage and very low voltage circuits such as mains lighting and power, fire alarm and telecommunication circuits, they must be segregated to prevent electrical contact (BS7671 defines Band I and Band II cables). If you would like to know more or need trunking in your industrial or commercial premises.