How safe is your home?

Safety

Government statistics show that electricity causes more than 20,000 fires a year - almost half of all accidental UK house fires. Each year, about 70 people are killed and 350,000 are seriously injured due to an electrical accident in the home. Because of this we support any initiative that could help to identify unsafe electrical installations or appliances.

Electricity is part of our lives. We use it from the moment we wake up (switch on lights or boil the kettle), through the day (the radio, TV, computer or vacuum cleaner) and while we sleep (alarms and electric blankets). As a result, we sometimes forget how powerful and dangerous electricity can be.

Modern living has meant we use more and more electrical appliances in the home. For instance, just 20 years ago the average UK home had a hi-fi system and one TV or video, whereas today it is more likely that there are at least two TVs, a DVD player, a satellite receiver, games console, microwave and computer. So the risk of electrical accidents in the home is much higher than before.

Electricity improves our daily lives - but only when used safely. Don't create hazards by overloading sockets, and never ignore warning signs like burning smells, sounds of arcing (buzzing or crackling), fuses blowing or circuit-breakers tripping. Electrical accidents are most likely to happen when equipment is damaged or misused. Failure to correct the problem could have devastating effects. This sounds like common sense, but you would be surprised how many of us fail to follow basic safety guidelines. When did you last check the condition and safety of your plugs, sockets and flexible cables? Damaged plugs, sockets and flexible cables can cause electric shocks, burns and fires.

For you and your family's safety:

Check the plug and socket for burn marks, sounds of 'arcing' (buzzing or crackling), fuses blowing, circuit-breakers tripping or if it feels hot. Remove plugs from sockets carefully. Pulling out a plug by the cable puts a strain on it, and could damage the contact between the plug and the socket. This could result in the plug overheating, its wires becoming loose or an electric shock (if the earth wire is disconnected). Use plugs with the British Standard safety mark - they have live and neutral pins with insulating sleeves that allow you to put them in and pull them out of sockets safely. Always replace damaged cables immediately. Touching exposed live wires may give you an electric shock or you could even be killed.

Remember, electricity can be extreemly dangerous and can kill, it is also the major cause of all accidental fires in UK homes

Statistics and Information from Electrical Safety Council, further reading can be found here

 

How old is your wiring? . . .

Electricity is usually out of sight, out of mind because cables are conveniently hidden inside our walls and switches and sockets. So it's not surprising that we forget to check our electrical installations for wear and tear. Faulty and aging wiring is one of the major causes of electrical fires in the home. You can avoid these by having regular checks carried out on the condition of your cables, switches, sockets and other accessories. There are clear signs that can help you tell the age of electrical installation in your home. These are:
  • Cables coated in black rubber (phased out in the 1960s)
  • Cables coate in lead or fabric (pre-60s)
  • A fusebox with a wooden back or a mix of old fuseboxes
  • Older round pin sockets or round lightswitches, braided flex hanging from the ceiling
  • Wall mounted light switches in the bathroom (pre-60s)
  • If you have concerns about any of the above please GET IN TOUCH NOW