As it is getting nearer to Christmas,
here are a few
simple tips for kitchen safety
Don’t leave electrical appliances like dishwashers or washing machines running unattended
Don’t wrap flexible cables around any equipment when it is still warm
Check that flexible leads and appliances such as kettles and toasters are in good condition
Don’t try to repair an appliance when it is still plugged in
Never try to get toast that is stuck out of a toaster while it is plugged in, and especially not with a metal knife as there are often live parts inside
Make sure you thoroughly clean your oven and grill– a build up of fat and grease is a major cause of fires
Check your plug sockets are not overloaded with too many electrical appliances as this can lead to overheating
Avoid storing objects on top of appliances like the microwave, which can block ventilation
Defrost your fridge and freezer at least once a year to ensure these appliances continue to work properly
Make sure you have a working smoke detector in case something does go wrong
HAVE A HAPPY AND SAFE CHRISTMAS
Top five tips for electrical DIY
Locate cables in your wall. A common DIY error is accidentally drilling, nailing or screwing things into cables hidden inside your walls. A quality cable detector can help you to track buried cables before you start work and avoid the risk of an electric shock.
Use an RCD (residual current device). An RCD can save your life by cutting off the power in the event of an electrical fault caused by a DIY blunder. Make sure you have one fitted in your fusebox (consumer unit), and where necessary use a plug-in RCD.
Shut off the power. If you're doing any work near electrical wiring or power supplies, where possible, shut off the power in your fusebox and use battery powered tools. To be sure that power is off before beginning DIY, plug an appliance into sockets and try switching on the lights.
Check power tools and watch out for the lead. Before using any power tools, check the lead and plug are in good condition. If you can see signs of damage (such as frayed wires) get the equipment repaired before using it. And watch out for the power lead at all times so you don't accidentally cut through or trip over it.
Get advice from a registered electrician. The best way to avoid any electrical problems in the home is to seek the advice of a professional. If you’re not sure, don't DIY.
Remember, your first shock could be your last!!
For more information copy and paste the following to your browser http://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/news-and-campaigns/campaigns/dont-die-for-diy/
Christmas Tree Lights
A Fire Waiting to Happen
A lovely Christmas scene with presents around the tree and a cosy fire to warm you up on a cold day.
If this were real we have a fire waiting to happen! Yes we all know the dangers of the tree, presents and stockings too close to the fire. The candles setting fire to the wreath, but what about the real danger of the Christmas tree lights setting fire to the tree.
It is an unfortunate statistic that Christmas tree lights are the cause of many house fires and fatalities over the festive period.
There is a very alarming U Tube video that you could look at. Copy and paste this to your browser. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMtjGfr0tYs
To help prevent the most common electrical problems with Christmas lights, and to enjoy a safe and happy festive season, Electrical Safety First website recommends the following simple precautions and checks.
• read and follow the manufacturers' instructions
• check your Christmas lights are not damaged or broken before use and look out for loose wires
• use only replacement bulbs of the same type and rating as those originally supplied with the lights
• ensure all outdoor lights are connected via a 30mA RCD protected socket
• replace failed lamps immediately to prevent overheating
• ensure plugs and transformers are plugged in indoors, even if the lighting is suitable for outdoor use
• switch your lights off and unplug them before you go to bed or go out
• keep lights away from flammable decorations and materials that can burn easily
• use lights outdoors unless they are specially designed for such use
• connect different lighting sets together
• connect lights to the supply whilst still in the packaging
• remove or insert lamps while the lights are connected to the supply
• overload sockets - try to avoid the use of extension leads or adaptors
• attempt to repair faulty lights - replace them
• use mains operated lights as these have been the cause of many fatalities (They are easily identified as simply just having a normal 13 Amp plug fitted to the green or transparent wire going to the lights)
Have a SAFE Christmas
Although electricity makes gardening much easier, wet conditions and contact with the ground means that the risk of injury or death from electric shock is much greater than the risk from using electrical equipment indoors.
Electricity and water don’t mix – so whether it’s pouring from the heavens or there’s still dew on the ground, don’t use electrical equipment outdoors until it is dry.
By following simple safety rules every time you work in a garden, you can easily avoid a serious accident.
Fit RCDs (Residual Current Devices)
An RCD is a potentially life-saving device that protects against electric shock and reduces the risk of electrical fires. Without it, if you cut through an electrical lead, a simple job like mowing the lawn could kill you.
Any socket that may be used to plug in a lawnmower, hedge trimmer, strimmer, lawn vac or other power tool should have RCD Protection.
Cut the grass, not the cable but if you accidentally cut the cable remove the plug from the socket immediately before attempting repairs. If in doubt contact a qualified electrician.
When using a lawnmower, hedge trimmer, strimmer, lawn vac or other power tool it is important to keep the cables, connections and plugs free from damage.
To stay safe while using electrical equipment in the garden follow these suggestions:
Buy a good-quality lawn mower, hedge trimmer, strimmer, lawn vac or other portable device from a well known manufacturer.
Follow manufacturers' instructions closely.
Always carry out a full visual inspection of the appliance you are going to use. If any damage is found do not use it.
When using hedge trimmers wear gloves and goggles
Check that the socket-outlet has RCD protection.
Do not cut grass in wet conditions.
Test the RCD using its test button every time you use the socket outlet.
Wear shoes that protect your feet (not sandals).
Keep children well away from the appliance.
Unplug the lawn mower and wait until the blades have stopped turning before doing anything like cleaning grass blockages. Similarly unplug the hedge trimmer before removing jammed hedge trimmings.
Take care if you are digging in the garden - electric, gas and water services may be buried below.
Maintaining Flexible Cables and Connectors
If you do not check the condition of extension leads, cables and connections and use them correctly, you could get an electric shock.
To stay safe make sure they are:
Suitable for outdoor use - weather-resistant with moulded connections that prevent moisture seeping in.
Rated correctly to suit the equipment you want to connect to them.
Uncoiled, to prevent them from overheating.
Kept clean and free from damage.
Replaced if damage is found.
Used according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Positioned appropriately to prevent them being damaged.
Health and beauty products
Hair straighteners, and other electrical beauty products, are seen by many as an essential. But they can be very dangerous, particularly to children.
Straighteners can reach temperatures of over 220°C and then take up to forty minutes to cool down after use. They can cause severe burns if they touch the skin, with children particularly vulnerable as their skin can be 15 times thinner than adults.
The number of hair straightener burns among children has doubled in recent years and they now account for nearly one in ten burns. The majority of these incidents are when toddlers touch, grab or tread on the hot hair straightener plates. Nearly half of all adults have also received a burn from a heated hair appliance.
When you are travelling, you should never assume you are as protected abroad as you are at home. Electricity safety standards in the UK are higher than in many other countries.
Apart from some of the obvious differences, like plugs and sockets, there are other aspects you should be aware of. For example, electricity supplies worldwide can vary from anything between 100 volts and 240 volts. This means it’s not always safe to use UK electrical equipment that is rated at a voltage different from the foreign supply. Check before you plug it in. (The normal voltage and frequency of the electricity supply in the UK is 230 v 50 Hz.)
For travellers to Europe only the socket type needs to be considered as the voltage and frequency are the same as the UK.
What are travel adaptors?
A travel adaptor is a device that simply allows you to plug any UK electrical appliance into a foreign electrical socket. It is important to note that it does not convert the voltage or frequency.
Which ones should you use?
There are over a dozen different styles of plugs and sockets used throughout the world. Before you travel you need to know the type of socket used in the country you are visiting. Some adaptors are designed to be used in more than one country – so make sure you take the right one.
Some travel adaptors are not suitable for appliances that require an earth connection and should only be used with double-insulated equipment.
Double-insulated appliances will be marked the double-insulated symbol which is usually two rectangles. Before plugging an appliance in, check that it does not exceed the maximum power rating shown in AMPS or WATTS on the adaptor. For example, some travel adaptors are rated at 2.5 amps, 5 amps, 7.5 amps and 10-16 amps, but all at 250 volts. Therefore it would be unwise to use your hair dryer with a wattage of 1800 watt with any of the first three adaptors mentioned, as this will cause overload and overheating. For safety, all modern travel adaptors must meet an electrical safety standard known as BS 5733.
Remember, do not buy a cheap adaptor as this could be dangerous. An example of what can happen when an inferior adaptor is used, can be seen below.
When the 13 amp plug was removed from the adaptor, the adaptor came apart exposing live conductors at 230 volts, which could have killed. In order to make this safe, the circuit was isolated at the consumer unit, then the adaptor contacts were removed from the continental socket using insulated pliers, after the circuit had been proved dead. If this was to happen to you, switch off the power at the fuse box and contact an Electrician immediately.
Remember it only takes a second to die!!
How Safe is Your Home?
Electricity can kill. Electricity is now the major cause of accidental fires in UK homes.
Government statistics show that electricity causes more than 20,000 fires a year - almost half of all accidental UK house fires. Each year, about 70 people are killed and 350,000 are seriously injured due to an electrical accident in the home.
Modern living has meant we use more and more electrical appliances in the home. For instance, just 20 years ago the average UK home had a hi-fi system and one TV or video, whereas today it is more likely that there are at least two TVs, a DVD player, a satellite receiver, games console, microwave and computer. So the risk of electrical accidents in the home is much higher than before.
Who should carry out electrical work in my property?
It is important that any electrical installation work is carried out only by people who are competent. This means people who have the knowledge, skills and experience needed to avoid dangers to themselves and others that electricity can create. It's easy to make an electrical circuit work - it's far harder to make the circuit work safely.