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Gate Safe introduce new MOT service

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 19th August 2016


Gate Safe, the charity that originally started the campaign toward safer automated gates, has recently launched a ‘Gate Safe MOT’ initiative. The drive aims to create more awareness of correct installation and the on-going maintenance of the gates within people’s home. The annual MOT also allows customers and members of the public to recognise a safe gate with the newly designed sticker that will be prominently displayed near or on the gate.

We spoke to Gate Safe founder Richard Jackson about why they have introduced the MOT service and how electricians can get involved.

What were the reasons behind the MOT launch?

We have wanted to introduce gate safety awareness since 2010 but didn’t have enough people to follow through with the project. Since then, we have been working hard to develop the programme and have over 750 people qualified to undertake a gatesafe MOT across the UK.

What does the MOT mean?

The MOT enables gate installers, electricians, house owners and members of the public to have a clear indication that the gate is safe. By displaying the new sticker that identifies the month and year of issue to gate users they will know the device has had the adequate safety checks or is overdue a service or maintenance visit.

How is this going to benefit electricians?

It will benefit electricians as they can add another string to their bow. They can attend gate safety training which we hold across the UK every other month, early bird bookers will receive the price for £195. Whilst on the training, electricians will gain a level of understanding of how to install an electric gate safely taking into consideration the foundation and the wiring.

Once the training is complete, electricians will be eligible to conduct an MOT within the home. They are also given a manual to take away as reference as we know this isn’t something they would install or check on a daily basis!

We here at Trade Skills 4U, believe this is a great certification to possess. We know it’s rare for an electrician to be asked to install an automated gate but we need to remember that these gates can pose a serious danger to customers when installed incorrectly. By understanding how to install and conduct an annual MOT legally and correctly will limit the amount of accidents that occur with electric gates. The certificate will also protect an electrician if anything went wrong, in the past, many electricians have been taken to court over incorrectly fitted gates resulting in hefty fines. The MOT will protect customers as well as the electrician.

To find out how sign up to a Gate Safe MOT course click here.

Categories: gatesafe, automated gates, electrical gates, electrician

Halogen Ban 1st September 2016 - What You Need To Know

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 11th August 2016

As part of the European energy saving scheme, the European Commission (EC) has been voting on when to ban halogen light bulbs in favour of CFL bulbs and LED’s.

The initial vote was to start the ban in September 2016, but recently there has been conflicting information regarding when the ban will take effect. The EC set the September 2016 date back in 2009, giving the industry a 7 year preparation time to gradually phase out the use of halogen light bulbs in households whilst also enabling suppliers to sell halogen stock.  However, there is also conflicting news indicating the ban will be postponed until 2018. 

So which date is it?

Well the answer is both are right and that it depends on which type of halogen bulb you are looking at. 

As a simple rule directional halogen reflector lamps given a D rating (also known as GU10 lamps) will be phased out on the 1st September 2016

The ban on on non-directional halogen lamps has been pushed back and is currently scheduled for 1st September 2018.

The ban on non directional lamps has been pushed back to September in 2018 due to the industry not being ready to produce the adequate amount of LED’s that will be demanded by consumers. The industry also argued the quality of LED’s would not be developed in time for the 2016 ban, as required features such as dimming, multi-directional light-beam and good colour rendering would not be ready for consumers at an affordable price.

Why are halogen bulbs being phased out?

Halogen bulb consumption is 5 times higher than its rival the eco-friendly LED bulb. Many Halogen bulbs fall under the energy efficient class D which has resulted in the EU phasing the energy guzzling bulb out. There is also the cost of running halogen bulbs against LED’s and the amount of Co2 produced that has prompted the EC to consider the best course of action.

Below is a comparison of the halogens and LED's

Bulb Type5W LED50W Halogen
kWh PY 9.1391.25
Cost electricity PY£1.37£13.69

Although halogen bulbs are generally cheaper to purchase, switching to an LED or CFL bulb would last the household owner for a longer duration, cost them less in electricity bills and will produce less Co2 throughout the year.

Clearly LED’s are winning in the energy saving department, but there has been some complaints from users. Including the amount of time it takes to reach full brightness, the white clinical colour compared to the warm glow of halogen and the light quality that LED’s emit.

Why the delay?

The delay, some suggest it’s down to giving manufacturing companies time to produce high value creation for the market whilst ensuring there are employment opportunities. It’s predicted there will be 6,800 job losses if the halogen policy passes; gradually phasing the ban can help overcome some of the negative impacts.

What does this mean for electricians?

It’s important for electricians to start communicating the new changes to customers and explain why opting for the slightly more expensive LED will save them time and money in the long-run. It would be a handy idea for electricians to keep up to date with the policy changes as companies continue to develop better quality, cost-effective and a larger variety of LED’s. Obviously moving forwards it will be important to make sure that you are not fitting the banned directional D rated lamps.

Categories: light design, policy, electrician

Warrington Apprenticeship Taster Week

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 2nd August 2016

Are you looking to start out as an electricians mate or apprentice? Not sure if it is the right career for you? Well to help we are hosting our first free apprenticeship taster event at the brand new Warrington training centre. The training week will take place between the 10th and 14th October. For more information visit this page.

We understand that choosing the right career path can be difficult and committing to a 3 year apprenticeship can be daunting if you’re not 100% sure. That’s why we are giving 16 – 19 year olds the opportunity to get a real feel for the electrical industry and the training to expect on an apprenticeship or electrical training course.

The course will run from Monday 10th – Friday 14th October. 

Throughout the week you will learn:

• Background to electrical contracting

• Different career paths

• The basics to electrical science

• Basic health and safety regulations

• Basic wiring regulations

• Hands on electrical installation skills on a domestic level

• Take part in a practical workshop

Our tutors will provide theory work as well as give individuals the chance to try their hand at some basic installation. You will also be given background information to electrical contracting, advised on the different ways into the industry and given a brief overview of electrical science. At the end of the week individuals should have a clearer idea of whether or not a career in electrics is for them.

For more information on the taster week contact a course advisor on 01293 529 777. Places are available to those aged between 16 – 21 years old. Spaces are limited so book early to avoid disappointment.  

Categories: apprentice, electrical training, apprenticeships, electricians