Statistics show that 70 people are killed and 350,000 people seriously injured each year because of electrical faults, and they’re the cause of almost half of all accidental UK house fires according to Electrical Safety First.
Getting your electrics checked regularly by an experienced electrician offers peace of mind, ensuring your property is safe to live in.
Making sure your electrics are safe can be done by an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). This is a comprehensive check of the fixed wiring of your electrical installation and offers an overview of your electrics to establish whether they’re safe and compliant with the regulations, and to identify any potential safety issues.
There are a number of factors that can cause electrical surges in the home-lightning, faulty appliances, damage to outdoor power lines and bad electrical wiring in the home to name a few. Sometimes our own actions are what cause these issues. Multiple extension cords connected together or overloading electrical outlets, for example, can be easily rectified.
The importance of checking
The importance of electrical safety testing and inspections cannot be understated. Sometimes we only contact an electrician when problems have already arose, where as regular inspections to a home or business can often pre-empt major problems.
A periodic electrical safety inspection will:
- Uncover potential fire hazards and electric shock risks
- Determine any faulty or inferior quality electrical work
- Reveal problems or absence of appropriate grounding system in your premise
- Identify old or outdated wiring
- Spot appliances that are operating erratically
When you should check
NAPIT highly recommend having an EICR carried out on your home at least every 10 years to check everything is safe for your family.
If you live in a privately rented property, it is a legal requirement in England and Scotland to have an electrical safety check, in the form of an EICR carried out at least every five years by a qualified and competent person.
Potential warning signs
Hot outlets-Many electrical appliances generate heat during operation. However, the outlet itself should never get hot. If you notice heat at an outlet, immediately unplug any cords and do not use the outlet until you can troubleshoot the issue.
Flickering lights – If the flickering is contained to a single light fixture, the fix is usually fairly straightforward. If it’s affecting multiple lights or rooms, then the problem is likely farther back in the circuit.
Buzzing sounds -Your outlets and switches should operate silently. If you hear any buzzing, cracking or sizzling sounds when you flip a switch or plug into an outlet, turn off the power to that fixture immediately and consult a professional electrician.
Circuit breaker problems – Circuit breakers are designed to trip when a circuit is overloaded. Tripping prevents overheating and eliminates fire hazards. Occasional tripping probably indicates a simple overload, but if it occurs repeatedly, you need to call in an electrician and have them evaluate your entire electrical system.
Electrical faults are dangerous, with the main risks being electric shock, fire and damage to equipment and property. Preventative steps can, however, be undertaken quite easily. It’s critical to get wiring checked by a competent, qualified and certified electrician as old and poor wiring running through a property increases the risk of fire and the malfunction of individual appliances. A competent electrician will be able to make recommendations as to what updates are needed to ensure that the property’s safe and complies with the latest legal standards.
For further information on making sure your electrics are safe and any other electrical requirements or queries, please contact us here.