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Electrical Safety 

 

How safe is your home?

On average Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and its partners conduct over 7000 Home Fire Safety Checks each year and our staff frequently encounter minor electrical safety issues that can be easily rectified.   Some of the most common issues identified include:

1.   Overloading adaptor sockets.  A maximum of 13 amps worth of appliances can be used safely through one plug socket.  High energy usage appliances such as kettles, toasters and microwaves are likely to be fitted with a 13 amp fuse and should be plugged directly into the wall socket. For more information click here http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/documents/digitalasset/dg_073993.pdf

2.   People using the microwave as an additional surface with items such as table cloths or cookery books placed on top of the appliance.  This can result in the blocking of air vents which could lead to the microwave overheating.

3.   People using washing machines, tumble dryers, dishwashers and other white goods at night time.  Whilst it is rare for a fire to start from the use of such items, using them at night means that you will only be alerted to the fire once the smoke alarm has actuated.  Using appliances during the day increases your chances of an early detection of a problem.

The Electrical Safety Council (ESC) has developed a FREE Smart Phone App that allows householders undertake a Visual Safety Check of their home.  The app is available on Android phones and on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The app is easy to use and highlights potential dangers for each room. It then explains how to resolve simple, non-technical problems. Where more serious issues are flagged, you are advised to use a registered electrician. To download the app click here http://www.esc.org.uk/public/safety-in-the-home/home-safety-app/

More information about Electrical Testing including testing by competent persons can be found on the ESC website http://www.esc.org.uk/public/home-electrics/periodic-inspection-explained/#c587

If you are planning to buy electrical products online the Electrical Safety Council has produced a guide to assist you - Buying Electrical Goods Online? (.PDF)