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Posted on November 15, 2022

Electrical Fire Safety Week

This week is Electrical Fire Safety Week, it is important to share information that helps reduces the risk of electrical fires.

Counterfeit Products

It’s good to be aware of what to look out for when purchasing products online. Remember buying counterfeit products increases the chance of dangerous electrical issues. They may not occur instantly but could cause major issues down the line. 

You should look out for Accreditation symbols. They are there for a reason, regulation, testing, and safety standards. CE or UKCA are trusted accreditation to look out for, some products are switching from CE to UKCA due to the UK leaving the European union. However, many of these changes have been extended to 2023. 

Wording on the ads is one way to tell if a product is counterfeit. If they are claiming ‘genuine’ or ‘authentic’ that should be an immediate red flag and cause for concern. 

When buying electrical goods, the packaging can give away a lot about the legitimacy of the product. Does it look flimsy? Does it contain spelling mistakes? If so, you may have been sold a counterfeit product. So, make sure you examine all packaging! 

Finally, scrutinize the cost! If the price is too good to be true, the product may be fake or substandard.  

 

Electrical Installations Condition Report for Residential Properties

“If it’s not broke….” This saying shouldn’t apply to your electrics. Whilst everything may seem on the surface to be ok, behind those walls it might be a different story. Over time, damage and deterioration can alter the safety of your electrical installation and this is one of the major reasons behind fires in the home. 

An ‘Electrical Installation Conditions Report’ (EICR) is used to find any damage, deterioration, defects, and/or conditions that may cause harm or danger.  

An EICR usually takes around 4-8 hours to complete. However, this depends on the size of the property and the number of circuits that are needing to be tested.  

After testing the property, a certificate and report are issued, with details of recommendations for improvement; stated to be ‘necessary’ or ‘helpful’ to ensuring the home is safe.  

If you haven’t had a test that has been conducted in your home within the last ten years, we would strongly recommend that you organise this.  

 

Electrical Installations Condition Report for Businesses

There is a statutory duty of care for businesses, whether large or small, for all electrical installations in workplaces to be maintained. Ensuring to be safe and to prevent danger; therefore, the Regulations require regular inspections and testing to take place.  

An EICR shows that you have completed essential checks of your installations. 

It is required for industrial and places of public entertainment to get an EICR every 1 to 3 years depending on usage. For commercial buildings and offices, EICR tests must be completed every 5 years or with every change of occupancy.  

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) should take place annually, the test will be completed on a range of items from the fridge in your kitchen and the printer in your office to power tools. 

Having PAT Testing and EICRs completed at your business premises is essential for fire safety and the welfare of your staff and customers. If your certificates are out of date, make sure you get these booked.  

Test Your Smoke Detectors

AICO recommends that you carry out a full test of your smoke alarm system once a month. This ensures all your life safety products are working correctly. This is guidance from the British Standards BS 5839-6:2019+A1:2020. 

It is a good idea to ensure you know the date that your alarms will need replacing so that you are prepared. This is done by checking the side of the smoke alarm as they will have a ‘date to replace by’.  

When checking your smoke detectors, it is important to: 

  • Consider having a family member on hand, so you can ensure your smoke alarms can be heard throughout the property. 
  • Maintain your alarms regularly by cleaning alarms monthly to ensure they are free of any dirt, dust, and debris. 

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