It really has been a summer to remember! The heatwave, England getting to the semi-final of the World Cup and no rain over the Wimbledon tournament. Don’t make it a summer to forget by having an accident relating to electrical equipment by following these handy tips:
People have been spending so much time outside in the garden this year burning sausages on the BBQ and doing up the garden. Electricity makes gardening much easier but comes with its own electrical safety challenges.
- Use a Residual Current Device (RCD) with all outdoor electrical equipment. If you don’t have one built into your fusebox, you should use a plug-in RCD.
- Give your electrical equipment the once over before using it, items are likely to be stored in a shed so pesky rodents could be having a chew on the cables. There is also more exposure to the elements, in particular rain (what rain I hear you ask!!) if that shed has a leak. Water and electricity do not mix!
- Switch off and unplug electrical items before cleaning, adjusting or checking them.
- Be aware of where the electrical power cable is at all times, especially with the lawnmower or hedge trimmer. You can now buy lawnmowers that do not have a cable and have a battery as a source of power!
- Never use electrical equipment in wet conditions.
When you are travelling, you should never assume you are as protected abroad as you are at home. Electricity safety standards in the UK are higher than in many other countries. We have seen all sorts of horrid electrical installs when we have been abroad, from plug sockets hanging off walls exposing bare wires to standard wall light switches in bathrooms.
- Never touch light switches if they are cracked or show signs of damage.
- Never plug equipment into a socket which looks damaged. cracked, or has part or all the cover missing.
- Never use mains-powered electrical appliances in a bathroom.
- Always buy your travel adaptors before you go as those abroad may not confirm to the same safety standards as we have in the UK.
- Always check that the travel adaptor you are using is the correct type for the country you are travelling to and never force it into a socket if it does not easily fit.
- On campsites check there is Residual Current Device (RCD) protection or a similar device that will cut off the supply if there is an electrical problem.
It has been so hot that I am sure you have dusted off that portable fan to keep cool during the night. These devices can get rather hot though!
- When buying a new electric fan, always buy from a reputable dealer. Don’t buy an electric fan second-hand, there could be hidden problems that you aren’t aware of.
- Always register a new electric fan with the manufacturer. That way you can be contacted easily if a safety notice or recall is required.
- Do regular checks of the plug and socket for burn marks, sounds of ‘arcing’ (buzzing or crackling) or if it feels too hot to touch. If you have fuses blowing or circuit-breakers tripping then contact a registered electrician to investigate.
- If your electric fan is a few years old, think about replacing it as old motors can overheat.
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This post was written by Richard Jay