The reaction of a householder to a gas leak is that it's an emergency. Electricity is equally dangerous, but electrical problems are not easily detected by the householder. It's often not until there is a fire, or someone receives an electric shock, that a serious problem becomes known about. The profile of electricity in the home is vastly below where it should be. New build homes are required to meet very high standards. Owners of older properties however are under no obligation to have anything checked or updated; they simply don't realise how dangerous things can be. A qualified electrician can carry out inspection and testing to identify potential issues. Major findings can be rectified, including the installation of an up to date consumer unit, where required, and the risk of fire and electric shock incidents can be reduced.
There were 3,091 accidental domestic fires in the UK in 2008 due to failed electrical cabling, fuse boxes and fittings DCLG. Note that there were an additional 5,500 fires due to failed appliances. There are several potential causes behind why cabling, the fuse box and electrical fittings can start a fire, including:
• Loose connections
• Overloaded cables
• Short circuits
• Poor quality installation
• Failed appliances
• Incorrectly rated fuse or circuit breaker
• Cable damage due to rodent, abrasion, breakage or deterioration due to age
As well as fire, there are a large number of electric shock incidents relating to installations without adequate shock protection. In the UK in 2007, 2.5 million people received a mains voltage electric shock, of which 1.2 million received significant injury and 200,000 were admitted to hospital ESC. Many of these incidents could have been avoided if the electrical installation in question met the latest standards.
"I believe it's the duty of every home owner to be certain that their home electrics are safe for the benefit of themselves, their family and visitors. A qualified and registered electrician can carry out these checks. Ask yourself these questions: Are my home electrics safe? How do I know? I’m concerned that there are over 3 million homes just in London and the South East (that’s about half of all homes in those regions) that do not have adequate residual current device protection that could help prevent fire or electric shock ESC. If they’re not sure, home owners should have their electrics inspected and tested urgently." - Simon Wilkins, Managing Director.
For more info, contact Electrotech Engineers Ltd on 01306 589000 or at http://www.electrotechengineers.co.uk
DCLG - Dept for Communities & Local Government Website – Fire Statistics 2008
ESC - Electrical Safety Council Website - Policies & Research / Statistics
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About Electrotech Engineers Ltd:
Electrotech Engineers Ltd provides electrical design, installation, repair and inspection and testing services for domestic and commercial customers in Surrey, Sussex, London and the South East. We are licensed to perform electrical inspections at your home or business, can issue installation and safety certificates, carry out PAT Testing, and notify to the Buildings Officer at the Local Authority.