Tuesday, 20 August 2013

How Safe are your home electrics?

Here at Fulcher Edwards, we consider home electrical safety as much our concern as your concern. In fact, the electrical industry as a whole works together to ensure key electrical safety messages are delivered to house holders and business owners alike.

Electricians have the main role in ensuring awareness of electrical safety in the home. We believe that every householder deserves to know what they need to do to make their home electrically safe. Of course some homes have very good electrical wiring and other homes need to be improved. However, even with the best electrical wiring, you are still putting yourself in danger if you are using dangerous electrical appliances. Unfortunately in many of our clients homes across London, we see householders taking electrical risks on a daily basis.

How can I make my home electrically safer?

One of the key messages in our blog post today is to call an electrician if you have any doubts about the safety of your electricity. Any good domestic electrician in London will be very happy to assist. It is better to solve an electrical problem when you first become aware of it then to let it develop into something that will be costly to repair. It is also important to ensure you and your family stay safe from risk of shock and electrocution. We visit clients who have concerns about all kinds of things from gaps behind sockets to lights that trip.

There are also three simple measures that you can take in your home that will ensure that not only is your home up to date electrically, but also you have the peace of mind that you are safe.

  • Does your consumer unit have RCD protection? If not, it will be worth your while upgrading.

  • Have you had an electrical inspection in your home? If you are a home owner, you should have one carried out at least every 10 years. An electrical inspection is known as an EICR and is rather like a health screen for your home. It can detect potential problems before they become an issue.

  • When having electrical work in London carried out, always use a registered electrician. As your local NICEIC electrician in London, we are registered to carry out work to the highest standard and will certify work on completion.

What about my electrical appliances?

This is a very good question. The use of electrical appliances are often taken for granted and unfortunately we see all too many people taking frightening risks with appliances. We have seen electric radios in showers, electric fan heaters plugged into sockets in bathrooms, cables taped together on vacuum cleaners. Scarily, the customers know what they are doing is dangerous but feel that if they're careful they'll be OK. Some of them have been taking risks for so long it has become habit!

It only takes a little common sense to ensure the electrical appliances you use are safe. As a starting point, only use appliances you are happy to use. Second hand appliances or those that you do not own and that haven't been pat tested should not be used at all.

Before using any appliance, always ensure that the plug and cable are free of damage and no bare wires can be seen. Always ensure that appliances are free from dust and other debris and are maintained in accordance with manufacturers instructions. Always ensure that filters from hair dryers, tumble dryers, vacuum cleaners etc. are emptied and cleared regularly.

There is a brilliant App from the Electrical Safety Council that can be downloaded onto a Smart phone or Android which allows you to carry out electrical safety checks in every room in your home. It highlights any potential dangers for each room and provides instructions on how to rectify any non-technical issues. Where more serious electrical issues are found, the App advises to call upon a registered electrician.

We think the App is a great idea and would highly recommend using it for your own home. It is completely free and productive way to improve electrical safety in your home – or just to confirm that everything is as it should be.

Make a change today

By downloading the App here. There really isn't anything to lose. Should you find yourself in need of electrical services in London, always ensure they are registered electricians before proceeding with any electrical work in your home.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Making the most of unused space in your home

According to research carried out at the end of 2011, growing numbers of electrical contractors in London were reporting increasing numbers of enquiries from customers wanting to convert unused areas of their home into useful living spaces.

Areas such as garages, lofts, garden sheds and attics are being used to create spaces such as offices, bedrooms and play areas to not only add value and improve living standards in the home, but also to take into account the increasing numbers of people having flexible working patterns.

House holders and businesses alike are seeing the benefit and cost savings of home working and the uptake of off site office space is falling in favour of home working. Garages and lofts that have traditionally been used to store cars and old household items are now being put to better use as our homes begin to enter the modern age – and new ways of thinking.

Generally speaking, providing power to your new space is one of the main considerations at the planning stage of your project. The electrical requirements will of course vary according to what your plans are for the space. Here at Fulcher Edwards we strongly recommend that you consult a qualified Part P registered electrical companies in London to discuss what your requirements are before proceeding with decorating and furnishing your new space.

We have seen an instance where heavy machinery was being used with the incorrect cable size in use. The cable was also airborne and simply hung between the house and garage. Is it essential that all cable and wiring is installed by an electrician whether indoors or outdoors. Of course, cable installed outdoors is also open to the elements even when buried underground, so it is important that the job is carried out correctly in order to avoid fire and electrocution.

Here at Fulcher Edwards, our electrical services in London cover everything from project conception to after care. We are more than happy to advice on your electrical needs for your new space and provide electrical installation design advice which will ensure you get the most out of your new space. We carry out all types of electrical installs in both homes and businesses and on completion issue you with an electrical certificate. This is a Part P requirement and the certificate will be needed if you decide to sell your home in the future.

We are also NICEIC registered and one of the main benefits of appointing an NICEIC electrician in London is the re-assurance of knowing that you are in safe hands. We are part of the Domestic Installer Scheme which is the NICEIC's approval for contractors undertaking work within the scope of the Part P Building Regulations.

If you want your new space to last a long time.....

Then our advice is to ensure your project is carried out properly to begin with. One of the best ways of ensuring your materials and space is going to stand the test of time is to find out what type of guarantee is on offer from the trades people carrying out the work. That way should anything fail (and unfortunately faults do occur from time to time) you have the peace of mind that you are covered by a guarantee. All reputable trades people offer a lengthy guarantee on their work so if no guarantee is offered, that would be a cause for concern.

The survey back in 2011 also revealed that customer prefer hard flooring to carpets as hard flooring is likely to last far longer than a carpet and spills and dirt can be managed far more easily.

Finally, don't leave electrical work too late

We have seen many instances where customers have finished off their home improvements complete with new carpet and wall paper to find that they have an electrical problem. Of course, this does not automatically mean that the wall paper needs to come back off, but it has been known.

Our top tip in our article today, is to ask your domestic electrician in London to carry out a test to check the condition of your electrical installation in your home. The test is known as an EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report.) It is very well worth having this test done as not only will you have the peace of mind that everything is safe, it will also avoid an expensive mistake being made when your project is complete when discovering that there is a problem that means taking off your new wall paper in order to repair it!

Whatever your plans, whether they are simple or complex, don't forget about your electrics! 

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

How Fulcher Edwards are staying ahead of the competition!

We are delighted to announce that we passed our SAFEcontractor Accreditation last week and have just received our certificate!

SAFEcontractor truly defines Fulcher Edwards as the ultimate London electrical contractors, and confirms our commitment to the highest standards of Health and Safety.

Of course, following high standards of Health and Safety is imperative. Not just for the purposes of carrying out electrical work in London safely but also for the safety of our clients. We follow the most up to date regulations and we have been assessed as such by SAFEcontractor one of the fastest growing Health and Safety Accreditation schemes in the UK.

Many large organisations as well as smaller organisations use SAFEcontractor status as a way of re-assuring clients that they are using the services of a company who take Health and Safety seriously. Some clients insist on using only SAFE contractor accredited organisations and here at Fulcher Edwards we do not blame them in the slightest.

Surely Health and Safety is taken care of nowadays?

It's a nice thought but unfortunately it is not the case. Construction still remains a high risk industry and accounts for 10% of major reported incidents according to HSE statistics. SAFEcontractor also reveal an alarming headline in their news where a construction firm has been recently fined following a house collapse after a digging a trench. Luckily the tenants were not at home at the time and there were no injuries. However, the company concerned demonstrated a serious lack of Health and Safety awareness whilst carrying out a straight forward task. Beware! What may seem like a reputable company may actually put your life at risk.

What to look for

To help ensure your safety when looking for electrical services in London, look for SAFEcontractor Accreditation. We also suggest that you ask to see the certificate before proceeding with any work, it will look like the one in our photo. SAFEcontractor is well known throughout the electrical industry and currently has over 18,000 contractor members, so if your electrical contractor in London hasn't heard of SAFE contractor, we recommend you walk away. Remember, safety first!

Who are SAFEcontractor?

SAFEContractor is a leading health and safety pre-qualification assessment scheme, who are dedicated to promoting higher standards of competence and compliance through the provision of relevant industry specific and tailored health and safety assessments for all professions and sectors.
The SAFEcontractor scheme is now used by many large organisations as a way of obtaining competent contractors.

Here at Fulcher Edwards, we recommend that you insist on SAFEcontractor if you take Health and Safety as seriously as we do.