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Worst Electrical Disasters Caught on Camera

Posted by Kirsten Beckwith on 25th February 2015

electrical explosion

All electricians have a story or two to share about the electrical mess ups, disasters or pure stupidity that they come across when working in peoples homes. However these 10 worst electrical disaster videos certainly top the list of electrical craziness. We seriously doubt some of these people have any thoughts about electrical safety.

Dare devils or scare devils?

All these videos feature people who are willing to go to any length to sort out electrical problems. Have a go hero or just crazy....we're not sure!

From bare wires running across the garden to a shed, to an overloaded extension lead connected to speaker wire!! Only in America you may say, but perfectly possible this side of the pond for anyone who is crazy enough to try......Disclaimer....Don't try this at home folks!!!


The power of electricity is impressive – there would be a few power cuts in this area! We're not sure if we'd have stayed around to film this though!


The worst electrical work ever – light bulbs above shower heads anyone? Some of the work out there is just truly....shocking! (excuse the pun!)


Never return to the site of a potential electrical explosion. Well these guys did – very brave of them to do so......or very silly!


Meanwhile in the UK....

Thanks to Health and Safety laws, we're somewhat more protecting in the UK thankfully. However there have been a couple of pavement explosions in the last 2 years. Check out this electrical pavement explosion in Central London. Not quite what you expect whilst minding your own business!



Luckily no one was injured in this pavement explosion that was caused by a faulty electrical cable outside the Press Association in London. It couldn't have happened at a worse time – during rush hour...


Thieves attempting to steal the copper conductor from an overhead power line resulted in a huge explosion along a row of houses in Yorkshire – scary stuff.


Live on the news!

And talking about casualties. He almost became one himself thanks to some 'temperamental' live wires above his head. It put a new spin on his news report to say the least.....


The worse electrical disaster of all time?

This has got to top all the electrical explosions we have watched so far! Termed the worlds biggest explosion, this gas explosion was exponentially scary to watch – we're not sure how the commentators seemed so relaxed about it! The explosion spread to a power line too – it was only at the end of the video that they thought about calling the fire department!


That's all for now folks!

Now we are pretty certain no one would ever want to try any of this at home, but we have to warn you anyway that these videos are definitely NOT instructions on recreating your own crazy electrical disaster at home and all videos shown here are purely for entertainment! 

Have fun watching guys!





Free 17th Edition 3rd Amendment Seminar - 17th March 2015

Posted by Kirsten Beckwith on 20th February 2015

BS 7671 IET wiring regulations

Back after an overwhelming demand, we’re delighted to open our doors for the second time for a free 17th edition 3rd amendment seminar. As the phones rang off the hook last time we’ve decided to make sure everyone is aware of the time and date when we’re releasing the tickets to avoid disappointment!

How to get a ticket?

If you’re interested in attending this seminar we’re releasing the tickets at 10am on Friday 27th February please follow the below link at the correct time:


Please note that all those who book will need to provide a contact number and will be contacted to confirm their place once they have registered.

Seminar Details

Date: 17th March 2015

Time: 4.30pm – 6.30pm (arrive at 4pm for a prompt 4.30 start)

Venue: Mitre Court, Fleming Way, Crawley, RH10 9JY.

Who will be at the seminar?

We’re delighted to have the IET attending the seminar to talk about the new book and the importance of making sure you have a genuine copy of this because unfortunately there are some counterfeit books on the market. They will also be providing a demo of their latest digital publishing platform.

Hosting the seminar is our director of education Andy Hay Ellis, who will be talking to you about the amendments to the 17th edition 3rd amendment in a clear and concise way and you’ll be able to ask him questions after the event if there is anything you do not understand.

Why are we giving this away for free?

As we’re the UKs number one electrical training provider we want to make sure every student is compliant with the industry standards. We know that these changes could seem overwhelming for the inexperienced eye and incredibly time consuming to find therefore we’ve enlisted one of our most experienced tutors to make it simple for you. We pride ourselves in teaching to a very high standard and making it as simple as possible for you to understand, we want our customers to be proud of their qualifications and ongoing support.

What can you take away with you?

You can buy yourself a copy of the 17th Edition 3rd Amendment book

We will give you a list of the important changes

Not forgetting the Trade Skills 4U pen and welcome pack!

Important information

All electricians must be compliant with the regulations by the 1st July this year; therefore for somebody to go over this free of charge is fantastic.

Unfortunately this isn’t a formal qualification and we won’t be issuing certificates for your attendance.

We can’t wait to welcome back those students who manage to get a ticket for a catch up seminar. We’ll supply the tea and biscuits.


Categories: 3rd amendment

Construction Skills Shortage Worsens As Demand For Workers Increases

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 17th February 2015

skills under a magnifier glass


At the start of 2015 there have been numerous reports that UK construction sector growth is now being hampered by a shortage of skilled labour. Many companies are unable to tender for new projects simply because they do not have the capacity to fulfil the projects should they win.

So Why Is This Happening?

The recession has had a major impact on the construction industry. When the recession hit in 2008 many tradesmen were laid off by house builders. Many of those took early retirement, have simply left the country for pastures new or found a new profession.  In 2007 only 35,000 tradesmen were claiming benefits, this figure rose to over 100,000 at the height of the recession but in December 2015 this figure has fallen to an all time low of just 17,000.

However the economic recovery has seen demand rise steeply whilst the number of workers completing trade related apprenticeships remains inadequately low. Part of the problem is that most young people are not attracted to working in a trade such as electrics or bricklaying. They deem the trades to be hard work, low paid and simply not very glamorous.

“There is no question that we are facing a skills shortage in the sector,” said John Tutte, chief executive of housebuilder Redrow.

“We can’t get away from the fact we have an ageing workforce, lack of broad investment in education and vocational training, as well as a cultural hangover.”

Recent reports in the media are suggesting that even brickies can earn £1000 a week in London as there is such a demand, which is great for tradesmen but not so great for those trying to build affordable housing across the UK. If the cost of labour increases too far we could find many projects simply shelved leading to even more of a shortage in housing.

“We are certainly seeing double-digit percentage wage inflation” for certain trades such as bricklayers and electricians" said Duncan Bullimore, a director at Hays Construction, a recruitment agency.

Only 2 weeks ago we published our trades salary survey which confirmed this data with Brickies, Carpenters and Electricians amongst those seeing the biggest increase in wages.

Part of the problem is simply a lack of apprenticeships and whilst these remain an ideal way to learn a trade for many young people they can actually serve as a barrier to entry especially for many older students who may be changing careers. Part of the problem is a lack of funding for mature students plus the old chicken and egg scenario of actually needing an apprenticeship place to start and complete your training. They can be like gold dust to find and as such this severely limits how many people can enter the industry.

How Can We Help?

Fortunately there are other ways to enter the industry. Here at Trade Skills 4U we are specialist in adult training. We know that the majority of our students would prefer to front load their training. This gives them the skills, confidence and something to put on their CV that can help them get their foot in the door. They still complete the on site assessments but do so once they have a job paying a living wage. We feel that this method of training offers many benefits for both employers and candidates alike including but not limited to;

Breaking the chicken and egg scenario of needing a job placement  to start training in the first place

Delivering students who are far more capable in a few months and can hit the ground running to a certain extent once they join a company

Giving students something solid they can put on their CV that will get them noticed by prospective employers

There is no doubt that the way to success in any industry is a combination of skills and experience, however the reality of apprenticeships is that for many they can actually restrict entry into industry.

The skills shortage seems to be becoming more and more of an issue. There were numerous reports in 2014 and now these seem to be more and more regular at the start of 2015.


The House Builders Federation have recognised that this is going to be an issue and as such have launched a fantastic new website aimed to raising awareness of the job opportunities in house building across the UK including apprenticeships and jobs of all kinds. Check it out at: http://housebuildingcareers.org.uk/

We will be doing our bit to help train the nation however more needs to be done to create work experience and apprenticeship spaces.


Categories: skills shortage

Take A Virtual Tour & Win a Free 17th Edition Book

Posted by Kirsten Beckwith on 10th February 2015

take our tour

Take our virtual tour today! For the chance to win the 17th Edition 3rd Amendment book.

We’re running a competition if you’ve got a spare few minutes to have a look around our training centre on Google Maps? It’s very easy, quick and simple to do, and best of all you get the opportunity to win the newest 17th Edition wiring book! Click the links below to visit each tour and search for 

We sent out our marketing elves along with our videographer Hamish from Google Maps to film our facilities for you to experience our training centre before even stepping foot in the door, we’ve hidden a teddy bear (aka Fusey Bear) and we have also got some rather ironic graffiti in one of the classrooms. And it’s your job to try and find them both! All you need to do is take our virtual tour, simple hey!

Can you find Fusey Bear? Or the Graffiti? It’s a straightforward exercise and you have the opportunity to win the brand new 17th Edition 3rd Amendment book about wiring regulations. R.R.P: £85.00. Please follow both of the following links to find the hidden items today:

  • Fusey Bear

    Can you find Fusey bear? He is hidden somewhere in our training centre...

  • The Graffiti 

    Are you able to find this ironic graffiti which appears in one of our classrooms? 

To win you need to provide us with the following information:

The building name

The room/training room

A brief description of where you’ve found them?

Please provide your name and telephone number. 

Entry's must be emailed to: events@tradeskills4u.co.uk

Good luck and please get your answers to us: By Friday 27th March 2015.

The winner will be announced on Monday 2nd March, so don’t delay and find Fusey and the graffiti today! We hope during this process you enjoy having a look around our state of the act facilities.



Meet The New Wind Turbine

Posted by Kirsten Beckwith on 9th February 2015

new wind turbine

Today more and more organizations are embracing renewable energy because it makes sense both economically and environmentally, if we want to solve climate change we need to become innovative entrepreneurs to discover new ways of generating power to move away from traditional fossil fuels which we can’t rely on.

The Facts:

In 2030 the worlds electricity needs will increase by 75%.

With 1.6 billion new consumers needing electricity.

88% of consumers want to use their own energy.

60% of the worlds population is concentrated in cities.

newwind turbine

NewWind – Turbines

Therefore a company in France called NewWind have come up with an innovative idea to generate electricity to help meet this demand and potentially fill the gap in the market for renewable energy, they’ve designed a new wind turbine that looks like a tree typically found in a city centre.

We really like the look of it! Some have even been described as “urban artwork” with 72 artificial leaves standing vertically, the tree are 11 meters tall and 8 metres in diameter, the white frame is made out of steel and the orientation of the leaves makes them spin silently catching just a gentle wind. The design so far has an output of 3.1kW of power working for up to 280 days a year, which is enough to power 15 streetlights. If we had these dotted around our parks or lined up on our roadsides we could generate enough power to sufficiently supply local buildings. Can you imagine them lining our dual carriage ways in the UK powering our local office buildings or homes? This could be a product for the future! Imagine different designs to suit different landscapes?


 Jerone Michaud-Lariere

Who invented it?

The idea was born by Jerone Michaud-Lariere who is the founder of NewWind, he said “The inspiration came to me in a square where I saw the leaves trembling when there was just small breeze.” and the idea was born, because of they’re silent nature this meant they can be placed in many locations from gardens, squares, parks, and shopping centres unlike the original turbines which require strong winds to generate power with reported decibels reading of up to 50 when your standing 300 metres away which is the closest you can have them next to a residential home…

Where can you see it?

You will be able to see the first prototype in Paris at the De Place Concorde from March to May this year, the structure has the support from the City of Paris to promote renewable energy, the tree will be ‘planted’ and will remain there until May.

traditional wind turbines

What are the benefits for the new turbine? 

A big criticism against the original style wind turbines is the tall nature of them and the loud noise they generate. This unfortunately meant they could only be installed in rural areas away from cities or residential housing. The traditional wind turbines can successfully generate up to 5-6 kW of power however due to blade diameters and height they can only work in strong winds which means they can only generate power for those windier days each year. These have been criticized as the unattractive option to renewable energy. In comparison the Wind Trees are a rather petite standing just 11 meters and 8 meters wide.

Unfortunately these aren’t going into mass production until 2016, and each turbine could cost around £23,000, however are reported to pay for themselves after just two years. NewWind say they have already sold 40 pre-mass production trees to be installed in France in September 2015 and possibly neighbouring countries from June 2016.




Dos and don’ts when working in a domestic dwelling.

Posted by Kirsten Beckwith on 6th February 2015

electrician with eight arms

Working in a domestic dwelling requires strict etiquette unlike any other workplace you may find yourself in, it requires a certain level of respect for the home owner’s wishes and honour their need for privacy and most of all security.

We have collated a simple list of do’s and don’ts!

Toilets:  It's okay to use the customer loo, but... make sure you visit the loo privately at home before you arrive at an appointment. It would be polite to ask for permission if need to use their toilet should you be struck with an urge.


Tea’s and Coffees:  its okay to accept a beverage, but... don’t expect one. It’s probably best to bring your own refreshments and if your offered a drink. Bonus. (Don’t ask for alcohol please.)

Breaks: it’s okay to take breaks during the day, but... don’t take advantage of this. Your breaks should be closely timed and spaced appropriately apart. Also make sure you take these breaks away from the home in a vehicle or in a near-by location.

Cleanliness: It's NOT okay to bring dirt into the house, but... sometimes it may be unavoidable. Be sure to keep your workplace as clean as possible and make sure you bring paper towels and a disposable surface that collects dirt.


dog and cat

Animals: It's NOT okay to initiate contact with pets, but... if the homeowner says the animal is friendly and safe, then it's okay to stroke them, as long as the animal is not a distraction or could be exposed to any risks.

Smoking: It Okay to smoke but…. Be mindful where you’re smoking. Try not to smoke on the property and leave fag butts lying around, if you can help it. Also you will be a bit smelly after smoking, so do carry some mints with you.

Time Keeping: Make sure you arrive on time, don’t turn up too early and certainly do not turn up late. If you’re running late it might be courtesy to let the customer know your estimated arrival time. No-one wants to be waiting around for hours.


builders bum

Dressing Appropriately: It’s important to dress appropriately, don’t take your top off in somebody’s home, or wear offensive t-shirts, also some people find caps rude!  

Being pleasant and helpful: Do you remember that old fashioned saying where the customer is always right? Make sure your always courteous pleasant and helpful. If you’re asked to help out, do! It could mean you getting a better rating on Checkatrade.

Stay Positive: Use positive language you could accidently insult someone without meaning to, “your living room is small”.

Good Communication Skills: Make sure you understand completely what you’re talking about, don’t try and blag it. Always explain in detail what you’re doing and where their money is going.

Taking responsibility: If something has gone wrong always admit to this, problem solve and fix it. Try not to blame others for your mistakes this could lead to lack of trust and would lose business in the long run for dishonesty.

Mistakes: If you make a mistake, then you will unfortunately have to dig into your pocket and pay for this to be sorted.

Did this help?

This list of etiquette tips certainly does not cover everything you need to know about working in a customer's home, most of it is common sense, but you should now have a better knowledge of the basics. No matter what happens, keep in mind that you’re representing your employer or your company so conduct yourself properly and this will speak volumes!






Categories: domestic installer