Posts tagged “Electrical safety”

Leaders in testing, inspection and certification, Bureau Veritas, have highlighted safety risks in the UK’s schools. 
 
All of the country’s education institutions are being urged to take a more rigorous approach to safety and compliance. 
The new Electrotechnical Assessment Specification (EAS) was released last month. It’s intended to be used by bodies that certify and register anyone carrying out electrical installation and inspections. It is part of work to improve electrical safety and competence to meet the requirements of the Building Regulations. It will come into effect in September 2020, but it can be used voluntarily from now on. 
Between January and July this year British Gas engineers discovered over 25,000 dangerously unsafe electrical devices during their home visits. 
 
That’s about one in every 20 homes where they have carried out an electricity and gas safety check when installing meters. The most common faults involved old ovens and boilers. 
 
British Gas says that its engineers regularly visit customers who haven't had their electrical wiring or gas appliances checked for 10 to 20 years. In some cases, the unsafe appliances they discover could have a devastating effect on health and safety. 
Quality, health and safety experts, Bureau Veritas, have warned that an increasing number of AC-type residual current devices (RCDs) are being affected by direct currents (DC) from modern electronic devices, electric appliances, and renewable energy sources. 
 
The previous (17th Edition) Wiring regulations said that AC-type RCDs should be used for sockets that might supply outdoor equipment. However, with increasing number of domestic, commercial and industrial sites now installing renewable energy sources such as solar panels, Bureau Veritas says that these RCDs might not be fit for purpose. 
Electrical installations and appliances are linked with around 350,000 serious injuries and almost half of all domestic fires each year. 
 
The best way to reduce this risk is to use a competent, registered electrician for repairs or renovations in your home
 
However, there aren’t any requirements for regular electrical safety checks in UK homes. 
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. 
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