It's home safety week this week and now is the time to start thinking about how safe your home actually is. Many people don't consider their homes as being electrically unsafe until something goes wrong.
There are all kinds of electrical problems lurking in peoples homes that have the potential to cause electrical injury or worse case fire. Electrical fire is the most common form of fire in peoples homes and it often starts without the householder realising. Electrical fires form some of the most serious UK house fires and can literally burn a house to the ground. Some of the problems that lead to this type of fire occurring are contained in our gallery below.
Take a look to see some of the more dangerous electrical problems found in peoples homes by electricians who are often called to carry out a simple electrical job. See if you can spot any of these signs in your own home.
3 cables in one plug
Believe it or not this is not an uncommon find by electricians and PAT testers. Householders who do not have enough plug sockets will try and get around this problem by attempting to feed several electrical items from the same plug. This is extremely dangerous and not only are you putting yourself at risk of electrical injury and shock but also damage to the wiring in your home and fire.
Burnt out cable
Here in the picture you can see where a temporary repair has been carried out using PVC tape. The repair has melted away and further damage has been caused to the cable. This is why temporary repairs using PVC tape is not recommended and is so dangerous. The cable has been damaged in another area and the cable is at risk of melting. The live wire on view is extremely dangerous and could cause a serious electric shock if touched in error.
Burnt out cooker socket
This cooker socket was discovered by a home owner after they had asked a handyman to take a look at why their kitchen socket was not working. The handyman fitted a fuse but did not carry out any electrical investigation as to why there was no fuse in the cooker socket to begin with. The fuse burnt out whilst the home owner was at work. The problem caused damage to the wiring inside the walls and the guy had only recently had his kitchen fitted!
Burnt out shower switch
Incorrect wiring of electric showers is one of the biggest reasons for call out for electricians. Unfortunately many house holders do not think to call an electrician when it comes to wiring up an electric shower. If the wiring is not completed correctly it can cause burning to the inside of the switch and the melting of the cable. This can lead to fire and electric shock especially if the shower is in use at the time of fire. Remember electricity and water do not mix so always ensure that a qualified and registered electrician wires in your new electric shower.
Dangerous boiler installation
A gas boiler still has electrical components that need to be fitted by an electrician for the installation to be completely safe. The work that an electrician carries out must be certified with a Part P certificate. In this picture it is clear to see that the electrical work has not been carried out by a qualified electrician and it certainly wouldn't comply to Part P standards.
Extension lead overload
This is what one electrician found when carrying out PAT testing! Worse still this lot had been covered up with a bean bag to make the room look tidier! Extension lead overloading is very dangerous. It can cause overheating and fire as well as damage to the wiring inside the wall. In this picture, extension leads have been plugged into extension leads. This is known as daisy chaining and should never be attempted.
Shaver socket next to the shower
Whilst shaver sockets are permitted within bathrooms, they cannot be installed just anywhere. This is a prime example of a shaver socket being in totally the wrong place. A shaver socket cannot be placed where it will come into contact with excess water. It makes sense really as it still uses electricity in order to charge shavers.
Incorrect light above shower
When using a shower, it is important to ensure you have a shower rated light in your bathroom. This is because spray from the shower could come into contact with a normal light fitting causing electrocution. This kind of light would not make for a relaxing shower – or bath for that matter contrary to what the shower curtain might say!
If you spot any of these electrical problems in your home, then please to get them addressed this month. Home Safety Week serves as a reminder to take a closer look at the possible electrical dangers in our homes before they potentially harm a family member or loved one.
Only a qualified and registered electrician would be able to repair, install and certify the electrical problems in this article (and most other electrical jobs too.)
So make March YOUR month to get electrically safe!