At Electric-wise we believe that SAFETY is paramount.
Electricity can kill. Government statistics show that most fires in UK homes are caused by electrical products and installations.
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.
Electricity is now the major cause of accidental fires in UK homes. Although many incidents are caused by faulty appliances rather than the electrical installation itself, a properly-installed and well-maintained installation could significantly reduce the possibility of an accident or injury.
What are the dangers?
The main dangers are contact with live parts at 230 volts which can cause shock or burns and if these are severe, death; and faults in appliances and installations which can cause fires.
So, it is important that any electrical installation work is carried out only by people who are competent. This means people who have the knowledge, skills and experience - people like us, Electric-wise.
Electrical dangers are everywhere around the home
We have listed below some of the dangers that could be in your home:
Flexible leads – what condition are they in?
Damaged insulation increases the risk of the cable overheating and catching fire. It also increases the risk of electric shock. If the cable is damaged, replace it.
Hanging pictures on walls or partitions – without hitting pipes or cables.
Hitting a live cable with a drill or nail is dangerous and could cause an electric shock, a fire or burns. Do not drill holes or fix nails in walls or partitions where you are unsure what is behind the plaster. A cable and pipe detector can help you identify where cables and metal pipes lie in the wall.
Making electrical equipment safe – always unplug for peace of mind.
Simple maintenance, like changing a belt on the vacuum cleaner, should only be attempted when it’s unplugged. This prevents the risk of injury from electric shock, hot or rotating parts. If parts have become hot while running, let them cool before you touch them.
Just use your common sense and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Electric shavers plugged into shaver sockets, which comply with the relevant British Standards, may be used safely. But don’t do it while you are taking a bath, as water and electricity don’t mix, and you might end up with a closer shave than you’d like.
Make sure the adapter is in good condition, doesn’t get hot and has no burn marks on it. If it is damaged, replace it with a new one.
Having a separate socket for each item you want to plug in is always the safest bet.
Always use a registered electrician like Electric-wise
Light fittings – overheating can be dangerous.
Using a bulb with a higher wattage than its light fitting can lead to overheating e.g. 100 Watt bulb in 60 Watt lighting fitting. This may result in a scorched shade, the lampholder crumbling when touched, or even fire. Install the correctly-rated bulb and you won’t risk it overheating. You could save on electricity too. Even better, fit a low-energy bulb, which lasts around eight times longer than a normal tungsten bulb.
We can replace any damaged parts.
Damaged sockets, switches, or anything electrical – beware.
These can create electric shocks, burns or worse, fire. Always check burn marks, sounds of buzzing or crackling, fuses blowing, circuit breakers tripping or excessive heat.
We can fix it before it breaks – or worse.
Ventilation holes in electrical equipment – they are there to stop over-heating.
If these slots get covered up, the equipment may catch fire. Never dry clothes by placing them over the ventilation slots of an electric heater. Wet clothes dripping onto any live electrical parts can create electric shocks and fire hazards. Always keep water away from electricity.
Never cover the back of a computer monitor. Likewise electric convector heaters when covered may overheat and cause fire. It’s simple. Keep ventilation slots open.
Pulling the plug out of a socket – there’s a right way and a wrong way.
Pull the plug not the cable. That way you won’t damage or strain the wires. A loose wire may cause overheating, whereas a loose green and yellow earth wire could cause you to be electrocuted. Prevention is always better than cure. So press the socket’s switch 'off' (where there is one) grip the plug and pull it out being careful not to touch the plug's pins.
Don't store combustible materials (clothes, Papers, cleaning materials etc...) close to your service head (cut-out fuse), electricity meter or consumer unit, particularly where these are under the stairs (a means of escape in an emergency). There have been a number of serious fires in homes where a fault in such electrical equipment, the effects of which would otherwise have been contained, has set light to adjacent stored materials.
Flexible cables trailed under carpets, rugs or across walkways are not only a major danger in terms of tripping, but also a fire risk.
We have seen the damage and devastation caused by electrical fires which could all have been avoided if the householders had ensured their wiring was safe, that damaged items were replaced and they followed the safety guides we have mentioned.
Please be safe - use a qualified electrician to check your electrics!