Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Are you a private Landlord in London?

Did you know that it is your responsibility as a private landlord to maintain electrical safety within your rental properties? Did you also know that you can be fined to failing to ensure the electrical safety of tenants within your properties? If you know about these fines, you are in amongst only 1 fifth of landlords who are aware of them. Fines to maintain appropriate electrical safety can reach up to £20,000 as well as invalidating insurance on your property. Research into UK private landlords carried out recently by the Guardian revealed that 300,000 (21%) were unaware of such fines.

This is not all, just last week, a select committee of MPs made a recommendation that Electrical Safety Checks on privately rented properties are made compulsory and are to be carried out every 5 years. This is great news within the electrical industry. Organisations such as the Electrical Safety Council have long campaigned for Electrical Safety Checks to be brought in line with gas safety checks by making them compulsory. It makes perfect sense as electrical accidents kill 1 person every week and contribute to over half of all house fires in the UK. People who rent their homes are more likely to experience a house fire caused by electrical safety failings than people who own their home.

What Needs to be done to protect your tenants and your property

Currently 40% of landlords admit to not knowing what needs to be done when it comes to ensuring their properties are electrically safe with 17% of the UK's estimated 1.7 million private tenants complaining that their landlords have acted too slowly or not at all when problems with the property electrics has been reported to them.

The most effective way of ensuring your property is electrically safe is by having an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) carried out by an approved qualified electrician. Many landlords have an EICR carried out as this is the easiest way to prove that you have kept in proper working order the electrical installation within the property to ensure the safety of your tenants. Here at Fulcher Edwards we inspect the electrical installations in London properties on behalf of private landlords on a regular basis. Our NICEIC electrician in London will carry out 100% testing on your properties where possible.  What we mean by this, is that we will carry out testing in areas we can access.  For example, if there is a big unit in front of a socket, we would not move the unit if it was too heavy, however you can move any furniture beforehand to improve access.  Many electricians only test small areas, but here at Fulcher Edwards we pride ourselves on being thorough and like to give out customers the opportunity of obtaining 100% testing of their electrical installation.  We carry out all testing  when it is convenient to you and your tenants. Once the testing is complete you will be issued with a certificate which is your proof of the condition of your electrical installation within the property. Should any element of the testing fail, we will issue a recommendation sheet along with a no obligation quote which you can compare to other London electrical services.

What else you can do as a landlord

Encourage your tenants to take an active role in their own electrical safety. If they use their own electrical appliances, tell them about the importance of inspecting cords and keeping the appliance in good working order. Also educate tenants on the dangers of overloading extension leads and ensuring the use of correct fuses.

You may also want to consider electrical testing in your London properties by having PAT testing carried out on appliances that you supply. Although not a legal requirement, it is another effective and easy way to ensure your tenants well being. Supplying the original instruction manuals with every electrical appliance and ensuring your tenants knows about them is also a great move.

Encouraging your tenants to report any kind of electrical problem no matter how minor promptly can also save a lot of hassle further down the line.

Conducting visual checks of the property regularly to check for broken or cracked sockets or exposed wires is recommended and can be done by anyone – they don't need to be a qualified electrician. A good way to ensure the visual check happens is to combine it with quarterly home inspections.

If you still need advice

If you are still not sure there are places you can go to which provide up to the minute information. The worst thing you can do as a landlord is ignore your tenants problem. Your local authority will be happy to give you advice on electrical matters and the Electrical Safety Council also has lots of useful advice which you can check out straight away on their dedicated website.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

How to Avoid an Electrical Fire

Electrical fires are one of the main reasons fire starts in the home and very often the fire is caused by something that could have been fixed easily by the home owners.

It's not just home holders that need to avoid electrical fire, it is business owners too. The same electrical recommendations apply whether in the home or work place.

There are two main components to electricity – that is the wiring itself in the property and electrical appliances. If either (or both) of these are defective, then the risk of fire is of course far greater.

To keep yourself, family and colleagues safe you need to look out for a few simple indicators that all is not well as well as well as follow a few common sense procedures to avoid electrical fire.


If you notice any of the following problems, then consult a qualified electrician at the earliest opportunity. Fulcher Edwards are the main electrical contractors in London who have vast experience in dealing with fire safety and not only do we offer a wide range of electrical services in London, we can also advise on fire safety both in the home and business.

  • Hot plugs and sockets
  • Lights that flicker
  • Scorch marks on sockets, fuse boxes and switches
  • Fuses that blow for no obvious reason

Electrical Appliances

Some of these recommendation may seem obvious but it is not uncommon for us to visit properties and business premises and find electric heaters in bathrooms, towels covering electric heaters and multiple adapters in plug sockets. Quite often, the householder is aware of the risk they are taking and because they haven't yet experienced a fire assume that all is safe. It can take some time for a fire to occur, it doesn't have to happen straight away.

  • Turn off and unplug all electrical appliances when you are not using them except those that are meant to be permanently switched on (like the fridge or DVD recorder).
  • Make sure plugs have the correct fuse for the appliance being used. If in doubt, refer to the manufacturers instructions
  • Use only one plug in each socket.
  • If you have to use an adapter, use a fused ‘in line’ type. 
  • Avoid multi-way adapters and overloading electric sockets by using several adapters as they may overheat.
  • Don't run leads or cables under carpets or rugs – you won't be able to see if they become damaged.
  • Check for signs of loose wiring and faulty plugs or sockets (such as scorch marks or flickering lights) and have any problems you find fixed by an electrician.
  • Replace worn, damaged or taped up leads and cables.
  • Find out if your electrical products are on trading standards product recall list, a list of items which have been recalled by the manufacturers. (See related links).
  • Always use a proper ironing board and turn off the iron after use. Make sure the iron is left to cool on a heat resistant surface away from curtains, carpets and anything else that may catch fire.
  • Always switch off hair straighteners/curling tongs after use and leave to cool on a heat resistant surface away from curtains, carpets and anything else that can catch fire.

Checking regularly for faults with wiring and electrical appliances can help avoid an electrical fire. Electrical fires have caused devastation to homes and businesses across London as well as claimed lives. Taking a few minutes on a daily basis could save your life.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Finding Electrical Services in London

Have you ever been caught out on a Saturday night and need a service urgently? Whether it be a Doctor, plumber, electrician or even a computer repairer, it can suddenly turn into a complete nightmare when you are left high and dry on a night when traditionally everyone should be having fun.  It always feels like a kick in the teeth when you have been a loyal customer to a business and they are not there when you need them the most.

Look around in any local publication and there are no shortage of adverts which on the face of it seem to be the answer to all your 'hair tearing' moments – 24 hour call out, quick service, no job too small and then there are the specialisms that seem to be the perfect answer to your emergency – electrical services,  fire alarm systems, leaking pipe experts, promises to fix problems within an hour....the list goes on – well it all seems good until that emergency occurs....and then often the promises become excuses – that is when you know who you can really rely upon (or not) – and when it is time to search for a business that is more reliable.  At Fulcher Edwards our Fire Alarm customers have a special number they can call at any time for a fast response, meaning our clients have the peace of mind that we are taking care of their needs.  Does your fire alarm service provider offer this service? 

Here at Fulcher Edwards, we offer a full range of electrical services. Whether you are after an NICEIC electrician in London, fire alarm maintenance in London or just an electrician in south east London we are the people to help you. We won't let you down and our team of NICEIC qualified electricians offer a special pre-arranged service for our long standing clients giving you the help when you most need it. Yes we will be there on a rainy Saturday night when you have no power - we're taking care of the needs of our most loyal customers. Never be afraid to call us about your electrical problem, we have been established for over 30 years so we have seen and heard of practically every scenario whether your electrical problem is in the home or in your business. Whether you need a commercial, industrial or domestic electrician in London our team of electricians will be with you when we say we will. There are no false promises here at Fulcher Edwards.

So why else do you need to consider Fulcher Edwards to carry out electrical work in London?

We have built up our business which addresses the needs of our clients.  So rather than us telling you what we feel you need from an electrical contractor in London, we listen to your needs and manage our services around you, our client. It's the small things that matter and sometimes it can be so difficult finding an electrician in south east London to come to you and during those stressful times you don't want to find that you paid far more than what you needed to do for an inferior service. Part of our standard service is not to charge for call outs, nor do we charge for parking and the CC zone. All work is carried out to current British standards and our workmanship is fully guaranteed and insured.

Keep our number handy....

….as you never know when you might need our services. Fulcher Edwards are your local electricians for south east London. However, we do cover most of London and areas within the M25. We are also among the electrical companies in London of choice for many well known businesses such as Eurostar, film sets and property management clients.

We are also well known for dealing with crisis – professional, re-assuring and punctual are some of the words we are very used to hearing when carrying out our electrical services in and around London.

So next time you are in need of electrical services in London you know which electricians you can rely on in both good times and also the very worse times too.