Find out if your fusebox is more than 10 years old Older fuseboxes (otherwise known as distribution boards) often don’t contain a Residual Current Device (RCD). This is a safety mechanism that monitors the electricity flowing through the circuits. If it detects a fault, the RCD will automatically switch the circuit off to prevent an electric shock or fire due to faulty wiring. New fuseboards also comply with current wiring regulations as they are metal and consequently fireproof when fitted correctly. Older fuseboards are made of plastic and won't contain a fire. If your fuse board is more than 10 years old the fuses may have deteriorated so it is best to get it checked by an NICEIC qualified electrician. Get your portable appliances tested Portable appliance testing is simply making sure electrical appliances such as TVs, computers, refrigerators etc are in good working order. At home this is an option safety check but in the workplace it's a requirement to comply with health and safety regulations. Laptops and phone chargers are a common cause of fires; it's best to get them checked for peace of mind. Fixed-wire testing Fixed wires deteriorate over time so it's important to get them regularly checked. An NICEIC electrician will sport any potential hazards. They will check all parts of your electrical distribution to ensure maximum safety. Fire alarms & smoke detectors To test your fire alarm or smoke detector, simply press and hold the test button and it’ll make a loud, piercing noise. If the sound is quiet or non-existent, please replace the batteries. Your local electrician will be able to test your alarms for you. If you’d like a new fire alarm or smoke detector, your local NICEIC electrician will be able to supply and fit a new alarm from [...]
How to I reduce my energy bills? Whether for your home or business there are some simple steps you can take to reduce your energy bills. Be aware of ‘stand-by’ mode According to thebalance.com, 75% of the energy used by electronics is consumed when they’re on stand-by or sleep mode. These include TVs, computers and stereos. Be sure to turn them off at the plug. Switch to LEDs Switching to LED lighting is a quick and easy way for homes and businesses to lower energy usage and save money. Lower energy costs, save money. LED lighting uses less electricity for the same light output. Compared to a standard 60W filament bulb, an 11.5W LED uses 81% less energy. At home: If you have 30 lamps/lights on for 10 hours per day, you’ll save approximately £214 every year* or 1783.6 kWh. That’s equivalent to: Businesses: For businesses, the cost savings can easily accumulate. Based on having 800 lamps/lights on for 10 hours per day, a business will save circa £17,122 every year* or 142,688 kWh. That’s equivalent to: Prevent heat loss People mostly think of their heating bills in terms of fuel costs but really we pay for lost heat. The lower the heat loss the lower the energy use. Quality insulation is the ideal way to lower heating bills. Choose a cool wash Most of the energy used by your washing machine goes to heating water. By switching to a cool wash or reducing the temperature, you can reduce your energy bill a lot. Don’t over-charge The Telegraph advise that another way to avoid unnecessary energy costs is by unplugging mobile phones and tablets. More than 12 million households charge up their gadgets overnight, with 22 million needlessly charged every day. Gareth Kloet, Head of Utilities at Confused.com, [...]
Distribution boards (otherwise known as fuseboards) come in various shapes and sizes but you can expect them to look something like the picture above. Distribution boards are made up of breaker switches (MCBs). Counting these will tell you the number of circuits present at your home or business. They may be all in a single board or a number of boards in different locations. NB: You do not need to count the separate RCD switches or the red double-width main switches in this. On some boards, there will be triple-width breakers known as 3-phase breakers.These also need to be included in your count, as 3-phase circuits.
We recently had a phone call from a damsel in distress and for once is wasn’t our MD’s fault - it was her electrician’s. Her electrical engineer wouldn’t provide her EICR certificate for the work he had carried out until she paid him. We know this is against NICEIC’s (a leading governing body of the electrical industry) policy. Unfortunately, we couldn’t provide her with a certificate without completely re-doing the work ourselves. We did, however, talk her through how to report this electrician to the NICEIC and how to check for a reputable electrician. This instance is minor compared to come of the botched jobs we’ve had to fix. These usually stem from electrical engineers failing to install equipment to manufacturer’s instructions or wiring to regulatory standards. The customer is typically oblivious until something stops working properly or becomes dangerous. How do faulty jobs occur? There’s a major industry shortage in general throughout all trades. With the electrical engineering trade, those new to the profession are often mistaken about the wages they’ll initially be earning with large pound signs in their eyes. In reality, getting an official qualification after four years of studying is only the start of the process of becoming an electrical engineer. It takes time to work up to a higher wage bracket. Consequently, young electrical engineers often go for higher paid jobs in large companies where they can be stuck in a job role doing the same thing each day therefore not gaining experience. If they work for a smaller company, they’re not initially on the wages they thought they would be but to gain plenty of experience. This means they often leave and go it alone, setting up as a sole trader with the right qualifications but little experience. Other electrical engineering companies [...]
It can be difficult to know how old the electrics are in your home. There are a few key signs you can look out for which we’ve listed below. However, if you’d like complete peace of mind it’s best to have them inspected by an NICEIC qualified electrician who will let you know of any works that need doing and provide you with a certificate to demonstrate everything is in safe, working order. Top five warning signs your electrics are faulty: 1. Breakers and fuses tripping regularly 2. Overheating fuseboard or appliances 3. Buzzing sound or burning smell 4. Charred or discoloured sockets 5. Getting a shock from switches and sockets
Thunderstorms are fascinating and frightening. They present considerable risks for people, animals and building so protection from the possible effects of a thunderstorm is essential.What type of damage can occur in residential buildings?Expensive electronic and information technology devices as well as heating, air-conditioning and ventilation systems are used in residential buildings and private households. Surges can damage or even completely destroy these devices and systems resulting in thousands of pounds worth of damage.What if operation comes to a standstill?If no protection measures are taken, this can have fatal consequences for a company. A thunderstorm can put information technology, telecommunication and automation system out of operation. As a result, customers may not be served for a longer period of time, which is disastrous for every company. In highly competitive industries with just in time production, this can even threaten the existence of a company.What is understood by surges and how are they formed?Surges are made up of short-time voltage impulses, also referred to as transients, which last less than a second. The following systems may be subjected to the interfering or destructive effects of these transients.Power supply systemsInformation technology and telecommunication systemsMachine and system controllersHeating, air-conditioning and ventilation systemsProtection pays offA comprehensive protection concept is indispensable for protecting sensitive electrical and electronic devices and systems. The coordinated use of surge protective devices (lightning current, surge and combined arresters) is essential.Contact us for more information on surge protection or for a free site visit and review of your surge protection strategy.