Five ways to check that the electrics in your home are safe
Many of us would check the condition of an electrical system before we move into a new home; however, far fewer would carry out these checks on a regular basis, unless there was a need due to building work.
Ensuring that the electrics in your home are in a safe condition is critical and could protect you from the risk of electrocution or fire. According to Electrical Safety First, an electrical charity, you should have an electrical installation condition report (EICR) carried out once every 10 years.
About 20,000 fires each year begin in homes due to faulty electrics. Often these can be caused by appliances with known faults; therefore, it is important to register your washing machine, dishwasher and other appliances to enable the manufacturers to contact you with any safety updates. Just 36 per cent of consumers have registered each of their large appliances.
In addition to seeking professional advice for major problems, there are some easy checks that you can carry out yourself to ensure that the electrics are safe to use. In most instances, residential properties can manage during power outages; however, you can look at products such as the Eaton UPS systems, available from suppliers such as http://www.cppsales.com/Eaton_UPS_Systems___Accessories-catid17, if you want to ensure that you have a backup system in place.
Don’t use a plug socket if there is any visible damage or it is scorched. Scorch marks are a sign that the wiring inside is not right and you should contact a registered electrician.
Check the cables or leads from the appliances for signs of damage or fraying.
Make sure that all the lights on an appliance are working properly, that it is not emitting any buzzing noises, and that there is no visible damage.
It is essential not to overload sockets or use too many extensions from one outlet.
Your main fuse box (consumer unit) should have RCD (residual current device) protection fitted. This will trip the box if an overload is detected in the circuit.
Conducting these few checks on a regular basis can help to prevent fires breaking out or enable you to spot a problem before it becomes more serious. If you do pick up any issues, it is important to seek help from a registered electrician.