Electrics and Childproofing

baby crawlingAnyone who is already a parent realises that as soon as baby is old enough to crawl, apparently usually about eight months old, they will be getting in to everything and anything! With a baby on the way, we have all this to come and whilst there are some resources available to new parents to prepare them for this “adventurous stage” it is always best to be proactive and childproof the home before you are too sleep deprived to or there is an incident. Whether your parents, grandparents, child-minders or simply have friends’ kids coming and going from your house it is a safe bet that you may need to childproof your home – especially the electrics.

 

I’ve covered some advice in this blog for ensuring your electrics are as child-friendly as they can possibly be. However, it is always best to keep the little ones away from electrics anyway but these should help as a guide, just in case.

First things first – plugs and electric sockets. This may seem obvious, however, all to often there are terrible accidents where children poke fingers, toys and other things into outlets with awful consequences. You may have heard of the simple plastic socket covers you can buy from Mothercare or John Lewis. These are ideal.

plug socket covertamper resistant recepticles

 

Even better, tamper resistant receptacles – these are basically where the outlet receptacle looks like the holes have been covered over with plastic. In fact, these are spring-loaded shutters and they close off the holes. The only time these shutters will open is if they are pushed at precisely the same time (by you plugging something into the outlet). Since children often can’t or won’t push into both openings at once its unlikely they would be able to poke anything into the outlet.

 

Next up, wires! These can be a big hazard – especially if they’re hanging out over the sides of low tables with heavy lamps or objects attached. Try and hide your wires away out of sight and reach of little hands – cable tidies are ideal but remember, don’t run leads or wires underneath rugs or carpets because you will not be able to see if they become damaged and that presents a big safety hazard.

Cable Tidyspiral_wrap

 

Extension leads/power strips can be another problem, let’s face it, they are at a kids’ level often on the ground nearby where they are playing. If you are not using all the outlets in the power strip/extension lead they present a shock hazard to the baby and even if they are all being used the child can easily unplug anything themselves. More safety issues! If you have plugs and electrics coming out your ears it may be worth getting more wall sockets and plugs fitted. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Frayed wires or scorched plugs – there is definitely a problem for children and anyone in the home – call us on 0207 1187737 to take a look and ensure you’re putting safety first.

baby smile

Hope these tips are helpful and your homes are even more child-friendly with this advice.

Electric Danger Signs in the Home

After seeing countless posts on Facebook this month of pictures of sockets falling out the walls, hanging by a wire, frayed electrics and lots of potential fire hazards we felt it is our duty to advise you of electrical danger signs in your home or business. These pictures highlight to us many people are ignoring small signs, which actually often point to a bigger problem. They are waiting until it is very serious and they are putting themselves and others at risk.

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At Prestige Electrics Ltd we serve a number of premises in our local community, be it people’s homes, landlord’s properties, shops, restaurants or offices. We want to ensure all homes and businesses are safe of the risk of electrical fire or electric shock. This blog post will look at some of the major danger signs for electrics.

 

Please note, this list is not exhaustive and although these are danger signs, without being called out to look at your electrics we cannot accurately diagnose the problem. When in doubt please see the expert! However, we hope this blog is a useful guide so you know what to look out for.

 

Dimming, flickering or blinking lights.

Perhaps the most common complaint. This is often seen in older homes with older wiring. Do your lights dim down when you plug in your iron for example? This is usually because the original electrical system was designed when less electrical appliances were in use – it didn’t account for microwaves, blenders, computers and TVs. We need to ensure the electrics are wired and functioning properly because you could overload the circuit and damage the wiring.

 

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You can expect additional circuits to be added in and potential rewiring required, reducing the load on each circuit and accounting for high load items.

Flickering lights that are actually appearing to come on and off by themselves, are usually symptoms of a loose connection that can actually be serious. The connection could be loose anywhere along the circuit. You need to call an electrician to come out and see to this immediately. Here is our emergency call out number: 0800 999 7737

 

Shocking switches.

We would hope people realise switches and outlets are not meant to give electric shocks! Do your switches or outlet give you a sharp but small electric shock when you remove a device? We can safely assume that the switch or outlet has a problem. At times this sign actually means that there is a wire in the circuit shorting out to the conduit enclosing the wires. Again, this is a serious problem and you need to call us out to have a look.

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Discolouration or charring around switches and plugs.

This doesn’t just look bad, this is in-fact another serious danger sign. Loose connections or faulty wiring can produce sparking, which causes a short-lived mini-fire that chars or discolours your outlet.

 

Perhaps the most apparent danger sign is the smell of burning.

It is difficult to identify an electric burning smell but it is often describes as acrid. Electrical fires that catch other materials on fire will have a very different smell though. If you can smell an acrid burning smell (with no other signs of fire) call out an emergency electrician. Remember, never use water on an electrical fire – only use the correct type of fire extinguisher. If you cannot put it out with the fire extinguisher, call 999 and evacuate.

Fire Extinguisher Servicing

Obviously, it is always best to avoid a potentially fatal situation. Look out for these danger signs and give us a call before things are serious.

 

Stay safe everyone and have a great week

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