Research has shown that some homeowners are taking a risk by not getting their electrics checked properly. This leaves them vulnerable to faulty electrical appliances and faults within their home.
Each year around 43,000 fires occur within the home and over 8,170 (19%) are caused by electrical faults and 10,750 (25%) are caused by people not using electrical equipment and appliances properly.
NICEIC spokesperson Tony Cable and Home Improvement expert Linda Barker provide some tips and advice entitled ‘MOT Your Home’ to help your protect yourself and your family on the NICEIC website www.niceic.com. They encourage home owners who own a property over 10 years old to contact a registered electrician to carry out a Periodic Inspection Report, the same as an MOT for your car. A registered NICEIC electrician will carry out this inspection report to ensure that the work is safe and complies with Building Regulations.
Basic tips and advice include:
- Ensure sockets and switches are checked for long-term use and repaired on a regular basis.
- Do not overload sockets to reduce the risk of fire.
- Ensure the correct current rating (Amps) when replacing plug tops.
- Do not put electric heaters near curtains or furniture.
- Do not dry clothes on electric heaters.
- Ensure electrical equipment and appliances are inspected and tested periodically.
- Always turn off electrical appliances when not in use, especially at night (not fridges and freezers).
- If an electrical fire occurs, if safe to do so, switch off and unplug the appliance or switch the power off at the fuse box. Do not put water on the fire – call 999.
When requesting an electrician to inspect your property, always ask them to confirm that they are approved to undertake a Periodic Inspection Report before employing them. A full list of registered electricians covering your area can be found by typing in your postcode at www.niceic.com.
THE DANGER AND RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH ELECTRICITY
The danger and risks with electricity are invisible but can be deadly, causing electric shocks and fires. These risks are minimised if you use an NICEIC registered contractor such as ourselves to install, inspect and maintain your electrics.
Figures released by the Government estimate that each year there are:
- 10 fatal and 2,000 non-fatal electric shock accidents in the home
- 19 fatal and 880 non-fatal shock accidents in the workplace
There are also about 12,500 electrical fires in homes in the UK each year. Although a lot of these are caused by faulty appliances rather than the installation itself, a properly installed and regularly maintained system could save your life.
Socket outlets, cables, switches and other equipment will deteriorate with regular use, consequently they need to be regularly checked and necessary repairs or replacements made in good time.
It is easy to make an electrical circuit work – it is more difficult to make the circuit work safely. To avoid any electrical dangers it is vital that electrical work is carried out by those with the correct skill, knowledge and experience in the work to be performed.
The Electrical Safety Council published the results of their National Consumer Survey and found:
- 42% of people surveyed stated that they had never had their electrics checked
- 32% of people who do DIY said they had experienced one or more electric shocks while working.
- 59% of people do not employ qualified electricians to do work in their home
- 48% of people surveyed did not know that their electrics should be checked every 10 years