Electrical appliance safety
Updates suggest that the Sheffield fire that killed 4 people a fortnight ago was started by a faulty phone charger.
This isn’t the first time that deaths have been linked to faulty chargers, either, which is why experts warn against buying cheap counterfeits.
In October, a Trading Standards investigation found that many dangerous chargers and adapters are being sold over the internet, from UK sellers, for just £5, and fail to meet European safety standards. As many as 15 of the 21 chargers tested were deemed unsafe.
Here are some tips for being safer with your electrical appliances.
Avoid counterfeit products
You’d be surprised to learn that faulty products can actually be found in legitimate shops, in which cases the resells aren’t normally aware that the product doesn’t meet required standards.
It’s safest to check the product itself, and make sure it meets BS standards.
If you buy second hand products, check they’ve been annually PAT tested.
Don’t overload your socket
To see if you’re overloading, you can use a simple formula.
Watts required to run the device
/ Divided by
The number of vaults in your office
Amps being used for each device
Are you using more amps than the socket will supply?
To prevent overloading, limit yourself to one adapter per plug. Even then, you don’t have to use all sockets if it means exceeding your available amps.
Appliances made to safety standards will have a fuse in the plug that will cut off the electrical supply and prevent a fire from occurring. However, faulty appliances might not have this, which could cause a fire.
Plug and socket checks
Check your plugs and sockets for these warning problems:
- Hot plugs and sockets
- Scorch marks
- Fuses that often blow
- Flickering lights
They can all be warning signs of loose wiring or other electrical problems.
If you are using an adaptor, opt for a bar, rather than block.
Cables and leads
Cables and leads can also be problematic.
Make sure that you never:
- Run them beneath rugs or carpets
- Get them wet
- Position them next to sources of heat
- Ignore them if they become frayed or damaged – always replace
photo credit: tris
via photopin cc