Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Test-It Tuesday

Did you know that if you have a working smoke alarm, you are half as likely to die in a house fire? Unfortunately many of those who have a smoke alarm don't test it very often if at all.

The recommendation is to test your smoke alarm on a weekly basis and try and build the testing into your routine so that you don't forget. We have called our blog today 'test it Tuesday' as Tuesdays are fast becoming a good day to test your smoke alarm thanks to growing publicity surrounding the catchy name. It is very simple to test a smoke alarm, simply press the 'test' button for a few seconds and the smoke alarm will emit a high pitched beep. This means all is OK and the smoke alarm should alert you in the event of a fire in your home. If you do not hear a beep then, this normally means the batteries need replacing or in the case of a mains powered smoke alarm, it will need a qualified electrician to come and take a look at it. It is better to discover a problem during testing than to risk the alarm not alerting you in the event of a house fire.

If the smoke alarm is located too far out of reach, rather than stand on a chair, use a broom handle to test it, this is much safer. Never be tempted to take the batteries out of a smoke alarm to stop it from beeping during cooking or if steam from your shower gets in the way or for any other reason. Many people who do this forget to replace the batteries afterwards and this leaves them with no way of being alerted in the event of a fire. If your smoke alarm is beeping when carrying out routine household tasks such as cooking the dinner, this normally means your smoke alarm is not situated in the best place in your home. At Fulcher Edwards we offer a design, installation and testing service for smoke detectors. This means that not only do we ensure your smoke alarms are situated in the best locations within your home, they will also comply with current British standards. We offer these services to both householders and businesses large and small in and around London.

There are two types of smoke alarm, either battery or mains powered. Mains powered smoke detector systems are far more complex and need to be installed by a qualified electrician, battery powered smoke alarms are a cheaper option, however the importance to test weekly is paramount as the battery is the only source of power the alarm will have to alert you of a fire. Most newer fire alarm models now have a 10 year life with an in built battery meaning it is not possible to remove the battery this is why it is importance to choose the right location in your home for your fire alarms. Your local fire service may be able to assist with locating your battery powered smoke alarms.

It is important to keep fire alarms free of dust in order for them to work to their best. A simple hoover nozzle used to clean the vents is normally sufficient every few weeks.

It is also a good idea to talk to your family and discuss what the best route from your home would be in the event of a fire blocking the main entrances to your home (i.e. front and back door.) Ideally a way of leaving the house via an upstairs window is a good plan to have and is often known as the 'Plan B Route.' This would be an upstairs window which opens out full length to enable an easy exit perhaps onto a roof further below such as a porch or conservatory roof. Always remember to leave a window key in the same room. Many householders don't consider of alternative ways to leave their home in a fire, however it is important to know what to do should the situation occur.

So remember Test-it Tuesday, and don't forget to test your smoke alarms in your home and business today. 

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

We Passed our ISO9001 Certification for Another Year!

Just when we thought that things could not get any busier here at Fulcher Edwards, with a key member of staff away on holiday, we had a visit from the audit people who were here to check on our quality standards. It was all hands on deck to get through the audit which we are pleased to report we passed with flying colours! This plays testament to our ability to manage changing tasks in a time pressured environment and demonstrates our ability to deliver top quality service and workmanship at all times.

We always say we work best under pressure and with this visit, we certainly put what we say into practice. For those who are not familiar with what the ISO9001 is, in a nutshell it is a quality management standard. In order to gain the ISO9001 standard, we are audited once a year to ensure our systems are working.

When the auditor visits, they look to see essentially how we meet customer expectations and needs. As you would imagine this does go somewhat further than demonstrating we hold the necessary documentation and qualifications to go out and do our job and being recommended very nicely by customers – as much as we do love that of course. Obtaining the ISO9001 requires us having to demonstrate the systems we put into place to ensure that we meet and exceed each and every customers needs and expectations. It involves us having a set of clearly defined targets which ensure that we serve the people of London better than anyone else. It means our well trained electricians are able to serve the needs of our customers with knowledge and empowerment – they know exactly how is expected of them and how our company works. We have always had excellent relationships with all our electricians and office staff, and we believe holding the ISO9001 accreditation, contributes greatly to this as well as ensuring our customer confidence and satisfaction.

How many times have you contacted a company where no one knows what is going on. You find yourself repeating yourself time and time again and even the staff are confused over who should be doing what. We are proud to say that this scenario doesn’t happen here at Fulcher Edwards and we believe that our ISO9001 is proof to our customers that we are different here, that you, the customer can confidently leave us to get on with it, you will not suffer from poor, inappropriate work. Work will be finished on time to a consistently high manner and to your exact specification.

Additionally, because we all sing from the same song sheet here at Fulcher Edwards, you'll find that we're all very friendly and professional. You won't find us scratching our heads and disappearing every 5 minutes which leads to lost time on jobs, you can be confident that when we come and carry out electrical work for you, that every minute is accounted for. One of our much used sayings here is 'you can get a lot done in 1 hour' and it is true thanks to our systems and procedures we have in place to ensure our customers are treated fairly and receive great value for money.

So with our ISO9001 awarded to us for another year are we going to sit back and bask in our glory? Of course not, we're already working on improving what we offer to you even more. There is always more to be done here. High standards of electrical work, excellent customer service, brilliant staff makes us who we are and we are not only proud of our qualities, we're confident enough to believe they're award winning and we have proven this once again by passing our ISO9001 for another year.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Don't Crawl Along Power Lines When Drunk

It seems like an obvious warning however a link to a short video shows a man who is in a drunken state who has managed to climb up a utility pole and proceed to slide himself along a power line.

With the first bank holiday of the month now over, how many of us have hazy memories of the weekend induced by drink? Hopefully no one was tempted to go and climb an electricity pylon or pole but just in case you were......you now have advance warning not to attempt this ever.

In a scenario that resembles a stunt in a movie (or a child in a playground, depending on how you view the story,) the man fell from the power line – unharmed – into a safety net that had been placed there by fire fighters. Much later and this story may well have had a different ending.

If nothing else, our blog post today will hopefully serve as a warning to anyone who is ever tempted to climb pylons. How the man got up to the power lines in the first place is a mystery, had he have touched a power line over here in the UK which can carry up to 5000 volts per metre he would have been killed instantly. Miraculously, the power to these power lines was turned off whilst the rescue took place, this man is very lucky indeed.

In the UK, UK Power Networks, educate people continuously on the dangers of climbing pylons. This is particularly beneficial to children who may find climbing a pylon tempting in the face of boredom or as a prank amongst friends. Pylons are clearly marked with a yellow label which says 'Danger of Death' if you see this sign and you are not in the area to carry out an authorised job then you should stay well away.

Despite safety platforms which are surrounded by barbed wire and located around 100 feet from the ground, some youngsters are still managing to get above it. Whilst the majority of people know not to go near electricity pylons, it seems they are a target for those under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

It is also worth noting that power lines need to be avoided when carrying out work and other leisure activities such as flying a kite. Many accidents occur every year from power lines where no account has been taken for their presence. Work with cranes, tipper vehicles, scaffold poles and ladders have all been inadvertently been in contact with power lines in the past.

The video showing the man visibly bouncing on the overhead cables which was filmed only last month had a lucky escape. Although he was not in the UK, it does not take much electricity to kill. Mains electricity the UK is 230 Volts, however it can take far less than this to actually kill you.

With many stark warnings surrounding electricity safety in the home, this video serves as a warning at the other end of the spectrum!

The video can be viewed by following the link - http://bbc.in/XVKhil