Electrical safety advice

Electricity is part of our everyday life, and most of the time we use it without thinking. However, we should all be aware of the hidden dangers. This advice will help you remain as safe as possible.

When to get wiring checked

If the wiring in your home is more than 20 years old, we recommend you arrange for it to be checked.

It is also wise to have it checked at five-year intervals to make sure your wiring can cope with extra appliances or lights and to check the earthing system. Always use a qualified electrician.

What we can do for you

In some parts of the country we offer wiring maintenance protection. And for extra peace of mind, we've been independently assessed by NICEIC and ELECSA to be in full compliance with all the latest regulations.

Keeping electrical equipment away from water

Water conducts electricity, and not all electrical equipment is insulated to keep out water. If water gets into the equipment, it becomes dangerous. It is also dangerous to touch equipment, plugs and switches with wet hands, so make sure you dry your hands thoroughly before touching them.

Checking the user manual when cleaning electrical equipment

It's fine to clean electrical equipment and the manufacturer usually tells you how to do this safely in a user manual that comes with the equipment. We also advise switching off and unplugging the equipment before you do this.

Checking plugs and wires

Check plugs and wires regularly to make sure they aren't showing any signs of damage, as this can lead to short-circuits. A short-circuit could cause electrocution or result in a fire. If you find any damage or loose connections, then switch the equipment off, unplug it and get it fixed straight away.

Convector and fan heater safety

Heaters by their design can get very hot. It can be dangerous to store anything above them that could ignite. Hanging clothes above a heater is one of the more common dangerous situations that can occur.

Checking your electric blanket

If you use an electric blanket, make sure you always follow the manufacturer's guidelines. Don't use it when it's damp, folded or creased, and always check for signs of damage to the blanket and power cable.

Safety when working outside

If you're working with electrical equipment outside, make sure you use a residual current device (RCD). This is a product that automatically disconnects the equipment in case of a fault. Check for damage before using them and make sure you know how to stop them. If it's raining, don't use any electrical equipment outside.

Getting the BEAB seal of approval

The British Electrotechnical Approvals Board (BEAB) is an independent organisation for electrical safety. BEAB test electrical equipment and if they find the equipment is safe to use, they'll grant it a certificate. You'll find the BEAB seal of approval on the equipment.

Making sure you wire plugs correctly

If you fit a plug yourself, make sure you wire it correctly and always use the right size fuse. Always use short, undamaged wires and don't join two pieces of wire together. You can also get an independent registered electrician to do the work for you.