Electrical safety is an everyday part of life, electricity is everywhere from our workplace to home to anywhere you may go. Essential as it is, it also presents a very real danger to people. Don’t underestimate the risk from electricity. Just because there’s no flame doesn’t mean there’s no risk. Electrical wires don’t even need to touch anything for a spark to jump and a fire to start. Read below for how our tips on electrical safety.
What to check for – Danger Signs
- Watch out for hot plugs and sockets, fuses that blow for no reason, flickering lights, and scorch marks on sockets or plugs
- Check electrical leads and plugs for wear and tear and faulty wiring. Frayed leads or exposed internal wires are fire risks.
- Don’t overload sockets – use one plug in each socket.
- Keep electrical leads, plugs and appliances away from water.
- Always keep electrical appliances clean and in good working order, and have them serviced regularly. This is especially important for washing machines and tumble dryers that may be left on overnight.
- Never buy an electrical appliance without knowing it is safe to use. New appliances should have the British or European safety mark on them and if the appliance is second-hand, always have it checked by a qualified electrician before you use it.
Plugs and cables – The Rules
Prevent Overheating – Use the right fuse!
- Appliances that use upto 700 Watts (for example TV’s, table lamps, radios, videos/DVD players and electric clocks) need a 3-amp fuse.
- Any appliances that use 700 to 1000 Watts (for example vacuum cleaners, small electrical tools, blenders and food processors) need a 5-amp fuse.
- Appliances that use more than 1000 Watts (for example kettles, computers, toasters, washing machines and hairdryers) need a 13-amp fuse.
- Always check the wattage of the appliance before you fit a new fuse. If you’re not sure, ask a qualified electrician.
- Throw away and replace damaged cables. Never use tape to mend or join cables.
- Never run cables under mats or carpets where you cannot see wear and tear.
- Use a ‘bar-type’ fused adaptor on a lead, rather than a ‘block-type’
- Don’t allow the total amps of all plugs in the adaptor to add up to more than 13amps or 3000 Watts of power.
- Don’t plug adaptors into adaptors – use one adaptor for each socket
Dealing with Electrical Fires
If an electrical fire is small and hasn’t spread, you may be able to tackle it yourself. But it is vital you do things right.
- Pull the plug out or switch the power off at the fuse box. This may stop the fire immediately.
- Smother the fire with a fire blanket.
- Never use water on an electrical fire! Remember, if in doubt – get out, stay out and call 999.
If you require any assistance with any electrical safety and fire safety related matters please feel free to contact us on 01785 711088.