Are you stretched for space in your home? Have you ever searched high and low for space in your home and then decided that your electrical intake cupboard looked pretty inviting as storage space? Well, we’re asking you to think again! Likewise, if you’re reading this now knowing that you are a secret, electrical intake storage fiend (harbouring God-knows-what) stop reading this now and carefully give your electrical intake space a spring clean straightaway!
Why? I hear you ask, please read on…
Recently, one of our engineers was investigating a fault at a dental surgery and found very high earth readings throughout the establishment (this is not good news for those who aren’t in the know)! Upon further investigation at the main intake, he found one of the main earthing conductors had been dislodged. Given the vast array of cleaning buckets, metal steps and vacuum cleaners – all haphazardly balanced (quite an amazing sight, really) in, around and on the main electrical intake equipment – it is easy to see how one of the earthing conductors had become dislodged.
At ACtest, we’re a cool-as-cucumbers kind of team and did not panic. Instead, we immediately repaired the fault and advised that the intake area be kept completely clear of items, especially combustible materials, such as cardboard boxes, coats, cleaning materials and chemicals.
Fortunately, for our customer, no harm was done. Tragically, however, this is not always the case as easily ignitable items in the vicinity of electrical intake equipment can cause devastating incidents, including fatal fires – particularly if the intake equipment is in a poor electrical state.
In 2004, 14 elderly residents at the Rosepark Care Home in Lanarkshire, Scotland, died as a result of flammable items in close proximity with the electrical intake unit. Due to the fact that electrical intake equipment is often located on the ground floor; when fires do start, a viable exit route is no longer available and ground-floor fires, in particular, pose a major threat to life.
So, next time, you’re thinking of popping the odd household item into your electrical intake ‘storage facility,’ step away and close the electrical intake door! Your electrical intake cupboard should be just that – an electrical intake cupboard – nothing more, nothing less.