With the UK facing a cold snap this week (January 21st), no doubt many people are making good use of portable electric heaters to help themselves stay warm. However, managers of care homes and any other such businesses where these appliances are likely to be used heavily must make sure that appropriate safety guidelines are adhered to.
Figures from Electrical Safety First from 2014 show that these products have caused more than 3,800 fires, approximately 1,000 injuries and 73 deaths since 2009-2010, so it’s vital that those using them know how to do so safely.
Each winter, care home managers should ensure that they check their heaters are in good working order and that they don’t pose a health risk. You can do this yourself if you decide to go on a PAT testing training course where you’ll learn how to use the relevant equipment and what warning signs to look out for regarding wear and tear, and damage.
Aside from this, you can ensure your residents’ safety by making sure that no heaters are ever left unattended, that people aren’t using them while they’re asleep and that you never buy second-hand appliances.
In addition, you should make sure that they are kept well away from anything that could knock them over and that they’re positioned far from combustible materials like the curtains.
All it takes is a bit of planning and forethought, and you and those in your care home or nursing home will be able to make it all the way through to spring with no problems at all.
If you run a care home and know that the residents will be making use of electric blankets and similar products during the winter, it’s important that you know they’re electrically safe and don’t pose a fire risk.
According to the Andover Advertiser, firefighters were called out to rescue a 90-year-old woman after her therapeutic heat pad overheated in her bed, with the fire service quickly reminding people to check that all their electrical items are checked regularly and are in good working order.
Fred Pettersson, incident commander, said: “This incident could have easily turned into a fatal fire and highlights the importance of checking all your electrical items, particularly the ones you use at night… We would urge the public to check all electrical items, heat pads and electric blankets, especially if you’re using them more due to the recent cold weather.”
If you want to save money as a business but also want to ensure that all electrical products you use at work are safe, it’s time to book yourself a place on a PAT training course in Colchester. By going on such a course you’ll learn how to test products yourself, so there’s no need to call out an electrician each and every time you need to do a check.
You’ll also be taught how to spot warning signs of dangerous or faulty equipment, such as scorch marks, exposed wires and so on. To find out more about how you could benefit from PAT testing training, get in touch with us here at Quick Test.
Businesses making use of Hotpoint, Indesit or Creda tumble dryers should go on PAT training courses so they can see if their appliances are safe to use, after it was found that 113 different models could pose a fire risk.
Research from Which? has found that more than 100 models made between April 2004 and October this year could prove problematic, representing 80 per cent of all those made during this period.
The manufacturers are yet to publish a list of all the models that have been affected, but the Which? investigation has revealed those that could start a fire. Check this list to see if you have a model that could cause a real problem.
The company is now advising people to check their dryers to see if they have a green dot sticker inside the door, on the door itself or on the rim of the door. If there is a green dot, then your tumble dryer is not included in the safety alert.
This comes after research from Co-op Insurance found that electrical faults are to blame for some 23 per cent of all fire claims. It was found that the number of fires started in this way has risen by 29 per cent in the last three years, with tumble dryers, washing machines and electric blankets to blame, as well as chargers for e-cigarettes and mobile phones.
Book yourself a place on a portable appliance testing training course to learn how to test your own appliances and do a lot to prevent the risk of fire.
Homeowners and business owners who have decorated their houses and premises with lots of fairy lights this Christmas time should make sure they take the proper precautions to help prevent fires from breaking out.
Going on a PAT testing training course in Peterborough or elsewhere could be a good idea so that you can test your lights before you put them up. Make sure that the plug is in good working condition, that there are no frayed wires and that you replace any bulbs that have blown before you switch them on to help prevent a fire.
A new report from the NICEIC and ELECSA has revealed that while nine out of ten homes in the UK will be decorated this Christmas and four out of five Britons say that they will be going over the top where their lights and decorations are concerned, 49 per cent of homeowners have never had their electrics checked, or don’t know when the last time was.
Tony Cable, senior events engineer for NICEIC and ELECSA, said: “Electrical safety in the home is important at any time of the year, but at Christmas we tend to forget that all the decorative lights we use around the home massively increase the dangers to our family. Just grabbing old lights from the loft and plugging them in isn’t acceptable. Everyone needs to be aware of the dangers and take into account the risks when getting competitive with the neighbours.”
Tips from the organisation include not overloading sockets, checking that lights used outside are safe for external use and not leaving lights on for a prolonged period.
People who work in stately homes and grounds should make sure they have a member of staff who has attended a PAT testing training course.
Many will be looking for these courses following the news that the devastating fire in a famous National Trust property was probably due to an electrical fault.
Electrical fires can be devastating, and even more so if the destruction affects property that has cultural value.
The National Trust’s 18th century mansion Clandon Park, near Guildford was “reduced to a charred shell” following a severe fire in April, the BBC claimed this week.
And not just the house was destroyed, its collection of antique furniture and textiles was also lost in the blaze.
Following the fire an investigation was launched into the cause of the fire by the Surrey Fire and Rescue service, which produced a report showing it was most likely caused by a faulty connection on the electrical distribution board.
The fire service is working with the National Trust to discover ways to prevent fires in the building, in future. One main room was unaffected by the fire.
As there was little fire protection in the house, the fire spread. The spread of the fire has also been blamed on a ‘hidden void’ that was not known about and had been created by adaptations to the buildings over the years.
No one had been hurt in the fire and all people who had been in the building at the time were successfully evacuated from the building.
Caravan park owners should make sure that those hiring spaces and utilities are aware of the importance of electrical safety to help prevent fires from breaking out.
Earlier this year (June 23rd), fire crews were called to a caravan park in Sindlesham to deal with a static caravan that had caught fire, thought to have been caused by an electrical fault, Get Reading reports. In all, four other caravans were also destroyed after the blaze spread.
Luckily, no one was injured but it could easily have been otherwise which is why it’s so important that those in charge at such sites are aware of electrical and fire safety best practice to help prevent such incidents.
One of the best ways that business owners can make sure that they are being electrically safe is by going on PAT testing training courses, such as those that we offer here at Quick Test.
If you book a place on one of our day courses, you’ll learn how to check appliances yourself using specialist equipment so that you don’t have to call out an electrician to do it each time. In addition, we’ll teach you about the warning signs so you can tell if a product or appliance is ageing and represents a fire hazard.
Our courses cost just £99 and you’ll only have to take one day off work to become competent in PAT training. Can you afford to be complacent when it comes to fire safety? Why not do all you can to protect your business today.
Firefighters in Tunbridge Wells have advised people not to try and put electrical fires out by themselves or they could risk harming themselves or exacerbating the situation.
Watch manager Mark Havell issued the warning after a local man from the area tried to put an electrical fire out using a wet towel and placing it over live electrics after the blaze beneath the stairs of his house had spread up the wall, the Kent and Sussex Courier reports.
The fire service came along and isolated the electrical supply in the fuse box, wearing electrical gloves to remove the main fuse and then checking for fire spread using a thermal imaging camera.
Of the homeowner, Mr Havell said: “He is lucky to be alive and to not have electrocuted himself. If you discover a fire that involves electricity, do not attempt to deal with it yourself or put water on it under any circumstances.”
He went on to advise people to leave the property the first chance they get, closing internal doors as they go in order to help contain the fire.
It’s important for both businesses and homeowners alike to know what to do in the event of a fire. As a business, you must ensure you have a fire drill procedure in place in case the worst happens. You could also benefit from PAT testing training, so you can check appliances yourself to see if they need fixing. You’ll also be able to see any signs of wear and tear so can take preventative action if required.
A small fire that started in an electric box at play centre Funkidories in Fareham in Portsmouth saw groups of children and parents evacuated, and three fire engines called in to help tackle the blaze.
According to the Portsmouth News, it took around an hour to make the area safe once more, with thermal imaging cameras used to ensure that no hot spots remained that could potentially start another fire.
Steve Pearce of Gosport fire station said: “An electrical fire broke out and they managed to evacuate everyone as we got there. It filled the kitchen with smoke and set the alarm off … It was a small electrical fire but it created a lot of smoke.”
Business owners need to be vigilant where their electrical appliances are concerned in order to prevent fires from breaking out – and the best way to go about this is to undergo PAT testing training so you can check that all equipment is safe to use and doesn’t represent a fire risk.
You can of course call out a professional electrician each and every time you need something tested but this will quickly become expensive. The best way to keep on top of your electrical checks is to learn to PAT test products yourself. This will save you both time and money – and the best part is that it’s not hard to learn. You can acquire the skills in a day, with courses costing around £100 so as investments go it’s certainly a good one.
Businesses and homeowners should be careful when using their electrical appliances, as new research has revealed that faults in such products now account for 23 per cent of all fire claims.
According to figures from Co-op Insurance, the number of fires started as a result of electrical faults has climbed by 29 per cent in the last three years alone, with goods like tumble dryers, washing machines, electric blankets and chargers for mobile phones and e-cigarettes all to blame for such incidents.
On average, the damage to household contents caused by fires is worth £4,000, while a large loss fire can cost people hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Head of claims at the company Jonathan Guy said: “Over the last few years we have seen a surge in fire claims caused by electrical faults, but also a rise in large fire claims as a result of these. Sadly, when it comes to fires, tragic circumstances could often be avoided by following some simple precautionary steps to protect you and your family.”
Businesses keen to ensure that their electrical goods are in perfect working order should consider booking a PAT training course in Peterborough so they can learn how to PAT test their own appliances.
This can be a lot less expensive than calling out an electrician each and every time you need to have your goods checked over – and it can also give you greater peace of mind that your appliances are working perfectly and don’t pose a fire risk at work.