Why should you use a registered Electrician?

Image result for competent persons registerMany of us consider the visible things in our homes to be the most important – we value our TVs, games consoles and comfy sofas, yet some of the most important and vital components that make up a home aren’t immediately visible.

The wiring behind your walls is a complex lifeline and one which should only ever be tackled by a registered and fully qualified electrician. The consequences of not doing so could very well mean that everything else goes up in smoke.

Electrical work is amongst the most dangerous jobs to undertake in the home. By hiring someone who isn’t up to the job, the results can be catastrophic.

That’s why we’ve created the ultimate guide to choosing an electrician. See below for everything you need to know!

Where can you find a registered electrician?

It’s simple – just go to www.competentperson.co.uk/ and type in your postcode

Why should you choose a registered electrician?

A properly installed and well-maintained installation can significantly reduce the possibility of accident or injury. So, it is important that any electrical installation work is carried out by people who have the knowledge, skills and experience needed to avoid the dangers that electricity can create.

Not convinced? See below for more great reasons to always choose a registered electrician!

They’re regulated by the UK and Scottish Governments, as appropriate

They work to the BS7671 safety standard

Their work is regularly assessed

They’re insured, so you’re protected

What should you do when choosing an electrician?

  • Be clear about the work you want done and, unless it is minor, obtain at least three written quotations
  • Check that the electrician is registered with a government-approved scheme.
  • Ask for references and check the electrician has public liability insurance of at least £2 million.
  • What should you ask your electrician?

Are you a registered member of one of the Government approved schemes?

Start by checking that the individual is a registered member of one of the Government approved schemes.  Choosing a registered electrician means you will get additional protections should something go wrong. Contact the scheme directly if you want to check the individual’s registration.

Could I see your paperwork?

Some people feel embarrassed about checking qualifications of the person they are employing, but if you are working with a trades person who is unwilling to show you evidence of their qualification and registration status then this could be a warning sign.

Do you have any references from previous customers?

If you are uncertain about an individual, ask them to provide references of previous happy customers. Ask these referees to explain the work they had done and how satisfied they were with the job done.

Who else will be working in my home?

When you employ a builder or a kitchen fitter to do some work in your home, they will often need to bring in an electrician for certain work. But do you know if the electrician they have hired is up to the job? It’s easy to assume the tradesman in charge will check qualifications and registration. But don’t leave it to chance – ask to see proof of everyone’s ability yourself.

I’d like to get a second opinion – can I get back to you?

Don’t feel pressured to make a decision quickly. If an electrician makes you feel uncomfortable for any reason, then seek advice before you contract them to do work for you. Also, get a few quotes so that you can compare options. The cheapest quote may not be the best deal – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!

Keep children safe in your home!

Electrical testing in Peterborough

Easy tips to keep children safe from electrical danger in the home

Socket blanking plugs are not necessary
The plastic plug that ‘protect’ against little fingers going into the socket pin holes. These can be fiddly for adults to remove, but it many cases, not so for curious toddlers! This has led to misplacement of the plastic plug therefore opening up the shutters on the bottom two holes. If you take a look at the sockets in your home, the bottom two holes will be closed off. This means that access to live parts is being prevented. UK sockets are safe so long as plugs and covers are kept away.

Consider RCD protection
The decision to have RCD protection in your home is entirely your own.I always advise having your current fuse board tested for safety before you decide. If it is very old for example, if it has a wooden back, then a replacement would be advised. However, if your fuse board is relatively modern, but still safe, then you might decide to save your money. Fuse board upgrades should always be carried out by a qualified and registered electrician.

If your home doesn’t have RCD protection, you could opt for plug in RCD protection. This is an RCD that an appliance is plugged into which would then offer RCD protection to the user. I always recommend that plug in RCD protection is used when using electricity outside such as when mowing the lawn, however this could be extended to include electrical items used by older children in their bedroom.

Keep appliance cords out of the reach of children
The cords of appliances always seem to be a grabbing opportunity where toddlers are concerned. Remember children’s skin is far thinner than an adults and burns from appliances such as irons can be a serious matter. Take particular care of cords on hot items such as kettles, hair straighteners, hair dryers and irons. It is possible to purchase appliances with curly flex (like the wire on telephones) which prevents the cable from hanging down to a toddlers level.

Never leave electrical items unattended
Even a charger left plugged in by accident can lead to electrical injury if a young child puts the end in their mouth. Never leave hot appliances unattended and take care of items left on standby. If any electrical item is plugged in, it presents a danger to young children.

Take care with large appliances
Washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers present frightening temptations for children who could climb inside. Some large kitchen appliances have a built in child lock which prevents doors from being opened by young children. Child locks can also be fitted to these types of appliances to prevent doors from being opened by children.

Never leave doors to such appliances open and if possible unplug when not in use. I also recommend the use of an RCD plug in these appliances as they are often left unattended when in use.

Switch appliances off when not in use
They can cause injury if tampered with and if a fault develops, it could cause an electrical fire.

Dry children before giving them access to electrical items
Older children will be in a hurry to leave the bathroom before they are dried off properly. Running to the TV to quickly to switch it on could lead to electric shock or injury. Always ensure that children are dry before they have access to anything electrical. This is also the same following water sports in the garden!

Keep drinks away from games consoles
Drinks spilt over electrical items such as games consoles, computers, sky boxes and DVD players will ruin them. Not only that, your child could receive an electric shock.

If you have electrical concerns

If you are concerned about the safety standard of your home electrics, please contact your local qualified and registered electrician as soon as possible. They will be able to carry out the necessary tests to determine if your home is safe and advise on the next steps.

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