Are you a property owner or a business owner looking for advice on electrical equipment safety? If so, you're in the right place. Electricity can be highly dangerous, so it's important that you know what you're dealing with when it comes to working with electronic devices.
Regardless of whether you're changing a light bulb or rewiring a plug. The dangers of electricity can be fatal. Naturally, this leads to a high level of concern when working with electricity, but when it comes to electrical safety there's a lot of misinformation floating around. So, to help keep you safe and confident, we've put together some tips on how you can tell if your electrical equipment is safe.
Keeping your electrical equipment safe
Property owners seeking advice on electrical equipment safety should make sure to do the following:
- Establish that it's safe before use (visual check for any signs of damage).
- Know how to safely use it. Follow these steps: -Read the instructions and warnings from the manufacturer, as well as any labels present on or near the product, and follow them explicitly.
- Keep away from water sources such as sinks, bathtubs, pools, etc. Do not expose your appliance to rain or snow either. If a power cord is wet from contact with water or moisture in general, unplug it immediately and allow it time to dry out before using again.
- Do not overload outlets by plugging too many appliances into one outlet at once; this can lead to overheating.
- Keep your device in an open area, away from flammable materials such as paper, wood, and fabrics.
- Only use electrical devices that are worth the trouble of using. If you aren’t sure how to use it or if you only need it once or twice look for alternatives.
What is a risk assessment?
A risk assessment is an evaluation of potential risks (hazards) that could lead to injury in the workplace. The idea is to identify and prioritise these risks (or hazards) and decide if they should be addressed with mitigation measures. As per the HSE guidelines and the ‘Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999’The minimum requirement for employers is to identify the following:
- What could lead to injury or illness in your business
- What are the chances that an individual could be harmed and the severity
- Take action to remove the hazard or to control & manage the risk
Why carry out a risk assessment?
Risk assessments are important tools for planning, managing, and monitoring the risks within a business. In addition, they also provide a clear understanding of the potential risks involved in a project. Taking mitigation measures to minimize environmental impacts should be prioritised accordingly. These measures will need to consider that different sites may have different issues to be addressed. Risk assessments are generally required by law before a project can get started.
Who carries out a risk assessment?
Risk assessments are carried out by environmental managers or consultants. These individuals are trained to establish the potential impacts of an activity and how to reduce the risks through mitigation measures. These professionals will need to identify applicable data for assessing a particular set of conditions and develop the risk assessment methodology.
Arrange regular PAT Testing
What is a PAT Test?
A portable Appliance Test is an electrical inspection conducted by a qualified electrician. The purpose of the test is to verify the safety of your portable appliances. A PAT Test can also be referred to as a ‘Service Inspection and Electrical Equipment Testing’. An electrician will examine electrical devices for signs of damage, quality of insulation, and confirm if the earthing conductors are able to protect against electric shocks.
Install a Residual Current Device (RCD)
An RCD is a good measure to take to reduce the impact of an electric shock.
Short circuits, earth faults and overloading are some of the most common causes for electrical accidents.
RCDs can quickly disconnect the circuit if any of these faults are detected.
Residual Current Devices are so effective they have the ability to reduce the effect of an electric shock.
Before purchasing an RCD, homeowners should seek advice from a professional electrician who will be able to determine whether installation is necessary. If so, which device would best suit their electrical system.
Inspect Electrical Equipment
As a business owner or Property owner it's your responsibility to carry out regular inspections to ensure all electrical equipment is safe.
- Visual Checks are Vital for ensuring that electrical equipment is Safe to Use. Even if you’ve completed a highly thorough risk assessment, a visual check is still vital. Therefore, make sure that you check the condition of plugs, extension sockets and electrical fittings for any visible signs of wear and tear. Furthermore, anything which is slightly suspect should be investigated further.
- Regular safety tests should be carried out before any equipment is used for the first time.
- These checks must be strictly adhered to in order to reduce the risk of any electrical hazards developing.
By following these simple steps, you are positioning yourself and those around you in a much safer environment.