Switch on to Safety. Article by Julia Gray, The Chronicle, Nov 23, 2013

Most electrics in a home are hidden away, which means you could you be taking a risk with wiring that’s past its use-by date. Julia Gray investigates

UNLESS a property is new, or you have it newly rewired yourself, it is hard to know how old the wiring is and, crucially, if it is safe. There are tell-tale signs of old electrical work, such as surface-mounted cables, old-fashioned light switches, flexes and ceiling roses, and fuse boxes that use fuse wire, rather than pop-out fuses.

However, fuse boxes are sometimes replaced without the rest of the wiring being updated, and many with pop-out fuses don’t comply with current regulations.

The only way to know for sure is for a qualified electrician to check the electrics. This should be done every ten years anyway, even if you think everything is fine, and whenever you buy a property, as if you do need to rewire, it can cost thousands of pounds. Read more on “Switch on to Safety. Article by Julia Gray, The Chronicle, Nov 23, 2013″ »

Fuseboards Explained

Your fuseboard / fusebox – also known as a consumer unit – should be easy to find. You should be sure you know where it is in case you ever need to turn the electricity off in an emergency. It usually contains three things, and they are used to control and distribute electricity around your home. They are: The main switch; Fuses and/or circuit breakers; and Residual Current Devices. Read more on “Fuseboards Explained” »

Winter Preparations

As the temperatures fall and the dark nights start to draw in, now is a good time to carry out some preparations for winter:

  • External lighting
    Carry out an inspection to make sure all of the lights are functioning properly.
     - Good illumination will reduce the chance of accidents on icy walkways and car parks.
    Consider a time clock to control costs
  • Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
    Check that all are in working order and that you have spare back-up batteries just in case
  • Security alarm system
    Make sure the battery back-up is functioning
  • Electric heating
    Make sure electric heaters are tested and working and haven’t been compromised during the summer months

If you need any help or further advice with any of the above, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us either via our Contact page or telephone 01670 737709

Looking for an Electrician?

Please can we advise you to search the Electrical Safety Register
The Electrical Safety Register is a joint venture between the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) and Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) that features both domestic and commercial contractors registered under the NICEIC, ELECSA and ECA certification schemes.

Over 33,000 contractors are registered with these schemes, covering the whole of the UK, including Northern Ireland. All of the contractors have been assessed against rigorous technical standards, offering protection to both householders and commercial customers.



Family Friendly Fun

Have you got ‘Switched On Kids’?
Have a look at the Electrical Safety Councils Switched On Kids or alternatively, Two thirty Volts for Teens, to find a great range of age-appropriate facts, advice, learning resources and revision notes.
There are even free to download Teachers’ lesson plans and worksheets suitable for Key Stage 3 students!


Getting Through the Jargon

If you are needing to have electrical work carried out either in your home or your business and want to know more about the jargon & technical terms the NICEIC and The Electrical Safety Council both have extensive jargon busters on their websites.
You can easily access both Jargon Busters and lots of other useful information and fact sheets via the Links page on our website.

Product Recalls – Checking your electrical products

The product checker provided by The Electrical Safety Council at www.esc.org.uk/recall contains the details of electrical products that have been recalled since 2007.
Ther are hundreds of pages of products that have been recalled but it is an advanced search tool, easy to use and well worth a visit.
The ESC state that if you search for a product that you own and it is not listed, this means that it has not been recalled and should be safe to use.

Thinking of… Buying? Selling? Renovating?


Contact us for a free DVD of Advice from The Electrical Safety Council which highlights all the things in your home you should look out for and if necessary have checked by an Approved Electrician. A good time to consider having this done is before buying, selling or redecorating your property. It is a bit like having an MOT – and you wouldn’t drive your car without one. The main difference is your car has to have an MOT every year, most homes only need to be tested every 10 years. (Testing frequency is different for rented properties, business premises, shops etc)