Tuesday, 19 August 2014

How to protect yourself from electrocution and electrical injury

If we were to tell you not to carry out that electrical job because you would die from an electric shock would you do it anyway? The answer hopefully would be a resounding no! Unfortunately for one person every week in the UK, that quick electrical job costs someone their life and 350,000 are injured every year as a result of electrical DIY jobs. These are frightening statistics and there is a very real likelihood you could become a statistic too if you carry out DIY electrical work in your home.

Electrical work myths

So aside from not carrying out DIY electrical work, surely someone else with a bit of electrical knowledge will be able to carry out electrical work? Again this is wrong too. As electricians in London we witness on a daily basis the misconceptions of home electrics. From the person who believes you only need to pull a fuse out to carry out electrical work safely to the person who thinks their plumber can also do their electrical work. It is vitally important that only a qualified and registered electrician does your home electrical work, no matter how small – or big – the job is. If you are paying out thousands of pounds for a new bathroom, why would you compromise your safety by trying to do your own electrics or asking someone who is not a qualified electrician to do it?

Making sure you hire the right person to do your electrical work

Having made the right decision to use an electrician to carry out your electrical work, you will of course want to ensure you don't become prey to an unqualified and unregistered electrician. Essentially this is a person who will tell you that they are an electrician and no doubt will baffle you with words to that effect. To this end, you might not think to ask to see their qualifications and proof of registration before they begin working in your home.

The electrical safety charity Electrical Safety First estimate that there are around 20,000 unregistered electricians carrying out work in peoples homes at any one time. This is a startling number and in most cases, the householder is not aware of the fact believing they are paying a qualified and registered electrician to carry out the work.

It is now easier to check the credentials of an electrician before they start work

Checking the credentials of an electrician before they start work is the only way you can guarantee that the work you have done is safe, legal and in accordance with electrical regulations. Here at Fulcher Edwards, we witness on a regular basis the results of shoddy and dangerous work carried out by unregistered electricians. Although we put the job right, it still costs the customer more in the long run as they are then paying for the work twice.

Unfortunately many of our clients in this position did not check the electricians credentials instead often relying on neighbours or friends recommendation. Indeed, many of our clients were under the impression that the person fitting their new kitchen or bathroom were qualified to carry out the electrical work.

The good news is though, you can now get one step ahead of an unregistered electrician by checking a new on line register which features all appropriately qualified and registered electricians who can carry out work in homes in England and Wales. As electricians in London witnessing dangerous electrical work being carried out on a regular basis, we highly recommend you check this register before making contact with an electrician.

The register is called Registered Competent Person Electrical and was launched only last month. It is Government supported and all electricians are on there regardless of which scheme they are registered with. It is very user friendly too, simply enter your postcode in the box and your nearest electricians will be displayed. As niceic electricians we are proud to be listed on the register. If you search for an electrician and they do not appear on this register then you are better off walking away. Do not take the risk on using an unregistered electrician.

Tips on making sure your electrical work goes without a hitch

  • Remember to check credentials

Always confirm proof that your electrician is qualified and registered before work commences. If your electrician is not willing to show them, you are better off using someone else.

  • References

Ask previous customers thoughts on the standard of work the electrician has carried out and how satisfied they were with the experience.

  • Get 3 quotes

Don't settle for the first quote, get a quote from 2 other electricians. This will give you an idea of the price you're looking at. Don't be tempted to take the cheapest quotation, as this could mean the work will not be up to standard or have hidden costs which means you'll be paying more in the long run.

  • Know who everyone is

If different trades people are doing the work, it makes sense to know who everyone is. Make sure you check the credentials of everyone working in your home before they carry out any work.

Keeping you safe

As electricians in London, we care passionately about the electrical safety of all our clients. We are determined to spread the word on avoiding unregistered electricians and how to ensure only qualified and registered electricians carry out work in your home.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

How to avoid electrical accidents in your garden

The UK electrical safety charity Electrical Safety First has launched a Summer campaign surrounding electrical safety in the garden. You don't need to be an avid gardener to be at risk from electrical dangers in the garden. Simply giving your lawn a quick once over with your Flymo is enough to give you a serious electrical shock or injury.

Who is at risk?

Anyone who uses electrical equipment in their garden is at risk. That is most of us as let's face it, it makes gardening a lot easier to just get the mower, strimmer or hedge clippers out without another thought! Whether your garden is a roof top terrace or a lavish green space, it is worth noting that 300,000 people a year end up in hospital due to injuries sustained in the garden. A third of accidents are a result of electrical equipment misuse.

What do we mean by misuse?

By misuse we're not suggesting that you had a crazy moment with a hedge trimmer, but rather making a mistake that many of us are guilty of doing. You have probably mown your lawn a thousand times before, but a new mower is always a bit different. Did you know that 18% of men and 13% of women never read the instructions before using gardening equipment? We all know someone who never reads the instructions, but they can contain nuggets of useful information that may actually save your life in the event of a mistake or even an equipment malfunction.

What sort of mistakes are we talking about?

One of the main types of electrical accident – 25% in fact that occurs in the garden is accidentally cutting through the electrical lead on mowers and hedge trimmers. It's an easy mistake to make and live cable could cost you your life if you touch it accidentally. Death by electrocution. Not a nice thought is it?

However, electrical death or injury caused by gardening equipment could be reduced significantly by using RCD protection. As electricians in London we see all too often the life saving benefits of RCD protection in the home. Appliances can malfunction often without your knowledge, cables can deteriorate without you realising and accidents can easily occur outside – from electrical appliances accidentally dropped in a paddling pool to not checking an appliance before using it.

Is RCD protection expensive?

Obtaining RCD protection for your whole home would be in the form of a consumer unit upgrade. Your home may already have protection, simply look for a T or Test button on your consumer unit and press it. If your power goes off instantly, then you have working RCD protection. At Fulcher Edwards we fit up to date consumer units for home owners and landlords across London, however there are more budget friendly options available.

You could opt for an NICEIC electrician to fit some RCD sockets in your home which will give you RCD protection for appliances which are higher risk (such as gardening equipment) and for appliances that are left unattended (such as kitchen appliances) that way you have peace of mind that there is RCD protection where it most matters.

There are also RCD plugs available at sensible prices on the High Street. Always purchase these from reputable sources so you can be sure of receiving a genuine product. RCD plugs plug into a standard socket, and you then plug in your equipment or appliance into the RCD plug. This will offer RCD protection to the appliance and the user so long as you test the plug before every use.

Here at Fulcher Edwards, we recommend that all gardening equipment is protected by some form of RCD protection. Unfortunately two thirds of gardeners do not use any RCD protection or have never heard of it.

Avoid being a statistic this Summer

The last thing you want is to end your gardening session with a trip to the hospital. By following a few simple steps particularly by using RCD protection when gardening will avoid this situation occurring.

Reading the manufacturers instructions and using the appliance in accordance with them will also prevent nasty accidents occurring in the first place.

Your garden should be a place to relax and here at Fulcher Edwards, we are committed to ensuring it stays that way!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

How to light up your business and make your tills go ker-shing

Shop refurbishment or even a rethink of the lighting arrangements can quite literally light up the life for your shop and increase your customer base. Get your shop lighting right and that passing trade will increase significantly. If your shop catches the eye of passers by and looks vibrant, modern and inviting then rather than walking on by, customers will begin to stop to see what you have on offer. Perfect lighting gives the ultimate finishing touches to all outlets from barista bars to electrical stores.

How to achieve perfect lighting

Creating the lighting solutions that match your shop ambience can be a challenge with busy owners not having the time to look for an effective solution. This is why here at Fulcher Edwards, our team of expert electricians can design, specify, install and commission lighting in many retail settings. We have extensive experience of designing and fitting lighting solutions in homes, offices, restaurants and shops in some of the most prestigious areas of London.

Good lighting rings the tills

There is a lot of truth is the statement above. High end department stores invest in luxurious lighting which fits in with the placing of products such as lingerie and cosmetics. Think of your shop lighting as part of your store architecture – make it part of the viewing experience – this creates the exciting shopping experience that lead to customers making purchases.

What the stores are fitting

LED lighting is exceptionally popular currently with many shops and stores opting to fit LED lighting. Of course the range of LED lighting available is vast and and it is easy to become bamboozled at the range of options available. Here at Fulcher Edwards we design and source the best lighting solution for your needs as part of the service.

From high bay to sequence, capo lights to hi-track each lighting solutions creates varying effects. So whether you needs are the ultimate in energy efficiency and lumen performance or whether you want an aesthetical look and product highlighting too then there will be a an LED range to suit your needs.

LED lighting is becoming particularly popular in both domestic and commercial settings due to their lifespan and low running costs. We have helped many business owners and home owners in and around London to save money by upgrading their lighting from older style halogen lamps and fluorescent tubes.

Retail lighting

Our qualified and experienced electricians in South East London have been refurbishing a series of high end designer stores. The stores opted for several hundred LED spotlights around the entrance and within the store which accentuated the shopping areas and provided and inviting exterior to entice shoppers in. The mannequins and new items were lit by individual hi-trac lights which not only provides outstanding lighting to show off sales items to their best, but also can be easily adjusted by shop staff when displays change.

Hospitality Venues

Meeting places which can range from a quick morning coffee to a full blown dinner party command lighting for the occasion. Receptions, hotels and coffee bars all benefit from having lighting to show off. Certainly here at Fulcher Edwards we have had the pleasure of fitting some very rare and unique lighting fittings in high end establishments in London and such lighting adds to an already eclectic atmosphere. Statement lighting such as crystal lighting, lamps and balls add to the look using a range of floor, wall and ceiling lights.

Our top tip before you begin

Before you choose your lighting, consult a qualified electrician who can advice on what the best lighting would be for your business. At Fulcher Edwards we have over 30 years of carrying out electrical work for business clients in and around London. We have unfortunately seen many instances where people waste money on inferior lighting which will not do justice to their business.

As electricians in South East London, we can take care of all your lighting needs including sourcing the lights you need. Why not increase your sales by giving us a call today.