Top ten electrical safety tips
Common electrical items around the home can be very dangerous, below is a list of the top ten electrical safety tips to keep you and your household as safe as possible.
- Electrical safety tip 1
If you have old-fashioned sockets which are installed into skirting boards, then they are most probably fed through old aluminium cable and in this case will need re-wiring for safety.
- Electrical safety tip 2
Has your dimmer light stopped working all of a sudden? A common cause for this is that the dimmer switch has blown. This will need to be fixed.
- Electrical safety tip 3
If you are experiencing electrical faults, consider the top three main causes of this: pests, water damage (such as burst pipes, or more obviously, flooding) and dodgy DIY. If you are concerned about any of these and are unsure which one is to blame for your faulty electrics, then contact an electrician to come and take a look for a more professional opinion.
- Electrical safety tip 4
Never try to force a circuit break to stay on when it clearly is going to trip. This will not only damage the device and need replacing, but it could harm you too.
- Electrical safety tip 5
Fuse boxes are rarely labelled correctly in household units, as they become outdated quite quickly. So just because you pulled out the fuse labelled ‘front room’ doesn’t mean that the front room lights will necessarily be off. So you will need to test with a mains tester screwdriver as well.
- Electrical safety tip 6
Be sure that you test you mains screwdriver test on a known live source. It is possible that your mains tester is broken as opposed to a specific circuit.
- Electrical safety tip 7
If only one of your down lights has stopped working then the problem is probably with the lamp itself, the transformer or the lap holder. There is also the possibility that the cable has melted or possibly been chewed through.
- Electrical safety tip 8
If you want to install recessed down lighting but you live in an apartment block that is not on the top floor, then you will need a suspended ceiling.
- Electrical safety tip 9
If you are converting a loft or joining two terraced houses into one, then interlinked mains powered smoke alarms will be needed by building control.
- Electrical safety tip 10
When installing shelving or hanging up pictures and artwork, make sure they are not directly in line with sockets and switches (both horizontally and vertically). This is where the cables feeding the switch or socket should be embedded and is often unprotected.
These are just a few top electrical safety tips that would go a long way in making sure you home is healthy where electrics are concerned. However, if you are in any doubt about something then you should waste no time and call an electrician to come out and take a look at it, to put your mind at ease.
Top Tips for hiring an electrician:
- Make sure they are registered by a government approved body such as the NICEIC or ECA.
- An hour’s labour usually costs between £15 and £25 and call out fee prices range from £10 to £30.
- Ask to see a portfolio and/or a list of references and get at least three quotes for the work before you hire.
- Make sure that your electrician has valid Public Liability insurance.